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May 12, 2021

Refreshing Relationship: Coca-Cola Africa signs with BanQu for recycling

Coca-Cola South Africa has partnered with BanQu's blockchain technology to improve local recycling systems and help to drive a truly circular economy.

In 2018, Coca-Cola set an ambitious goal to help solve the problem of packaging waste in the United States and around the world. The company pledged to:

  • Collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one sold by 2030
  • Make all of its packaging fully recyclable by 2025
  • Make its bottles and cans with 50% recycled content by 2030

To continue fueling that goal, Coca-Cola South Africa has partnered with BanQu’s blockchain technology — which creates a permanent record of transactions in the recycling process — to improve local recycling systems and help to drive a truly circular economy.

The plastic problem

Waste pickers recycle up to 90% of South Africa’s plastic and packaging — which is a huge source of income for them. Since they often cannot obtain formal employment or work elsewhere, they rely on waste reclaiming to feed their families and clothe their children. It’s deeply problematic that as one of the most important jobs in the circular economy, they have remained mostly invisible and unbanked.

A  simplified solution

BanQu uses blockchain technology to track and trace recycled material across the value chain, providing price transparency for both buyers and sellers. Its automated system (and financial app integrations) sends a simple SMS when a payment is processed — ensuring waste pickers don’t need expensive smartphones to participate, and can do cashless transactions.

It also allows reclaimers to store their earnings in secure e-wallets or withdraw cash from automatic teller machines. The record that’s created allows them to demonstrate their earnings, obtain access to credit, and validate their existence in a global supply chain.

A bankable conclusion

With BanQu, both waste reclaimers and small buy back centers can feel financially empowered. More than 300 waste pickers and 4,900 transactions have already been recorded by the system since its launch in February — totaling over 200,000 kg of recyclables. The partnership gives waste reclaimers a place in the economy and promotes their financial inclusion — making the unbankable, bankable.

BanQu creates blockchain solutions for some of the modern world's biggest challenges, such as supply chain transparency and identity platforms for impoverished populations. We believe that with blockchain's bright future, world poverty can become a thing of the past.