Plastic waste will be put to good use as an alternative fuel in cement production thanks to a new partnership between Coca-Cola Beverages Uganda (CCBU) and Hima Cement Limited. In terms of the three-year partnership, which has been formalised in a memorandum of understanding, CCBU will provide Hima Cement access to plastic waste from its operations for handling and disposal through Hima’s waste management business, Geocycle.
Geocycle offers safe and sustainable waste management solutions applying the internationally recognised technology of co-processing. The partnership is designed to end the lifestyle of PET waste collectedfrom the environment. CCBU will provide Hima Cement with waste from its recycling process to be used in their heating processes in the cement kiln leaving no residue.
The two companies will also collaborate in awareness creation for proper waste management through communications. Kirunda Magoola, CCBU Public Affairs, Communications and Sustainability Director, said it is important that plastic waste is managed properly through a collaboration that educates Ugandans on the importance of plastic waste recycling and disposal.
“At CCBA, we are leading the industry in making our value chain increasingly sustainable in the way that we manufacture our products, how we distribute them and how we sell them. “We have the scale and reach to make a real difference, and we’re using our leadership position to drive change and help put our planet on a more sustainable, communities, governments and our industry toward a clean environment. “We are working in our communities to educate people on why and how to recycle through consumer campaigns, on-package messaging and more to create a healthier environment for all,” Magoola said. “Tackling the global plastic waste crisis requires cross-sector collaboration and alignment on common principles and targets. We work with a range of stakeholders at a regional and local level.
“This includes partnering with governments and community organisations to strengthen recycling infrastructure and boost collection rates, collaborating with customers, peers and industry associations to shape public policy that supports a circular economy; and teaming up with suppliers, startups and R&D partners to fuel sustainable packaging innovation.
“The partnership with Hima Cement is one example of this. We are investing in infrastructure and exploring how to support additional recycled PET capacity in Uganda. CCBU, a subsidiary of Coca-Cola Beverages Africa, established Plastic Recycling Industries (PRI), an initiative through which the company promotes environmental conservation and protection by supporting collection and recycling of plastics in Uganda.”
Jean-Michel Pons, the Hima Cement Country CEO, said: "As part of our decarbonisation and circular economy approach, we utilise materials at the end of their lifecycle as alternative fuels, such as industrial wastes like plastics and agricultural wastes like biomass, thus reducing the carbon intensity of our cement while offering a unique solution to waste challenges.”
“This is an existential threat that we must tackle as a unit. It cannot be the responsibility of a single person or organisation. Everybody must get involved,” he added, noting that Hima Cement will, among others, get involved in plastic waste awareness programmes, provide access to its trucks for transportation of waste as well as engage in networking opportunities with affiliate companies and organisations in the plastic recycling sector to support CCBU’s initiatives related to environmental restoration.