DAVOS, Switzerland — The Coca-Cola Company and JD.com on Tuesday announced a partnership to explore new ways of plastic recycling to help drive the circular economy in China.
JD.com has leveraged its nationwide logistics system in a pilot to help collect used beverage bottles from households. The collected bottles are being sent to recycling facilities in partnership with Coca-Cola, where they’ll enter the circular value chain.
The project was announced at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Coca-Cola first announced its World Without Waste vision two years ago, with a global goal to help collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of its packaging by 2030.
JD.com launched its ‘Green Stream Initiative’ in 2017, aimed at reducing the environmental impact of logistics activities. From June 2017 to December 2019, JD reduced disposable packaging by nearly 30,000 tons and saved nearly one million tons of paper.
Leaders from both companies – Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO James Quincey, JD.com CSO Jon Liao, JD Retail CEO Lei Xu and JD Logistics CEO Zhenhui Wang – shared their plans at a panel discussion today at WEF.
“Our World Without Waste initiative includes a major focus on working with partners, because no single company can solve the packaging waste problem alone,” Quincey said. “Our new partnership with JD.com, with its in-house logistics infrastructure and e-commerce platform, is an exciting opportunity to explore a localized approach to bring back used PET bottles and recycle them into other useful products.”
JD.com and Coca-Cola China co-piloted a two-week recycling program last month in Shanghai, which leveraged JD’s courier team to collect used bottles from 50,000 households when they delivered packages to consumers. The collected bottles are being sent to recycling facilities in partnership with Coca-Cola. The companies are exploring a further expansion of the partnership.
Recycled PET materials are expected to be used in couriers’ uniforms or other lifestyle products, to help more people understand the value of recycling and help shape their daily behaviors, including waste sorting, recycling and sustainable consumption.
Zhenhui Wang, CEO of JD Logistics, said: “JD.com has long been dedicated to sustainable development of people and the world, and this pilot program is an important component of our ‘Green Stream Initiative’ sustainability strategy. Through the partnership, we are excited to create a ‘reverse’ logistics system and, more broadly, to encourage the public, especially our consumers, to adopt responsible consumption and recycling in their everyday lives, thereby participating in a more sustainable circular economy.”
The initiative is the first attempt at cross-industry collaboration to explore a circular solution between an international company and the Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com, leveraging the know-how, resources and operational excellence of the two partners.