Coca-Cola Mexico Spending $34M to Increase Recycling
Coca-Cola Co. and half a dozen of its Mexican bottlers are investing $34 million to double the capacity of the recycling facility in Toluca, 40 miles west of Mexico City.
In a news release, Coca-Cola Mexico said the expansion will enable the plant to recycle 120 million pounds of PET per year, making it tone of the largest recycling facilities in Latin America. PET is the abbreviation of “polyethylene terephthalate,” which is the plastic material used for consumer packaging. Bottles made of PET are recycled to reuse the material out of which they are made to reduce the amount of waste going to landfills.
When this facility first opened in 2009, the plant could reprocess about 64 million pounds of PET, roughly the equivalent of 1 billion bottles, a year and employed 70 workers. These upgrades will more than double the production and facility employment will increase dramatically.
According to PetStar Chairman Miguel Ángel Rabago, speaking at a foundation stone-laying ceremony, the expansion will help create 500 direct and 6,000 indirect jobs.
At the same event, Brian Smith, president of Coca-Cola Mexico, described PetStar as “a vital part” of the Atlanta beverages giant’s sustainable initiatives in Mexico in the area of sustainable packaging - “one of the pillars of our global platform”
The expansion, he said, “will make PetStar the largest food-grade PET recycling project in Latin America. By integrating [operations], from the collection of bottles to the incorporation of new, recycled bottles for our beverage products, [it will be] one of the most relevant projects in the world.”