Chinese logistics giants JD.com and Coca-Cola China have teamed up to combat waste and pollution. The partnership will utilise JD’s massive courier fleet and the soft drink company’s manufacturing power.
The recycling effort is the world’s first cross-industry partnership between a global company and a Chinese e-commerce business, according to a statement from Coca-Cola representatives.
The collaboration comes two years after Coca-Cola committed to its World Without Waste campaign. In 2018 the world’s largest soft-drink company pledged to reuse 50% of its plastic in future packaging while also recycling one unit of plastic for every unit it produces by 2030.
In 2017, JD.com launched the Green Stream Initiative, its own sustainability campaign to reduce its environmental impact. JD.com included paperless operations and significantly lowered the amount of plastic and cardboard used for packaging. In 18 months the company reduced its plastic consumption by 30 000 tons.
The partnership was announced at the Davos World Economic Forum this year. Coca-Cola, a company that uses 128 billion of the commonly used PET plastic bottles per year, also announced that it would not yet discontinue the use of PET plastic, despite pressure from environmentalists. It has, however, changed changed its bottling materials for water from plastic to aluminium.
Their joint effort started in 2019 with a two-week test in Shanghai, during which time JD.com’s door-to-door couriers collected more than 50 000 bottles. The bottles are delivered to Coca-Cola facilities nearby where they are recycled into raw PET materials, ready to be recirculated back into the manufacturing process.
The partnership hopes to promote sustainability, recycling, and responsible waste management to the public.
CEO of JD.com logistics, Zhenhui Wang, said the pilot in Shanghai was an integral part of the Green Stream programme and reiterated JD.com’s support of sustainability.
Coca-Cola CEO and Chairman, James Quincey, highlighted the importance of teamwork. Quincey stated that no other company could achieve what JD and Coca-Cola were doing single-handedly.
JD’s transition to a more aggressive recycling policy is not unique. China has undergone a radical attitude shift towards sustainability in the last 10 years. China is already one of the single largest producers of clean energy on the planet.