Coca-Cola South Africa has announced the opening of its new Valpré plant and the introduction of PlantBottle™ packaging to Africa. The new state-of-the-art facility will fill Valpré Spring Water in Heidelberg, southeast of Johannesburg. Selected for its close proximity to markets and distribution sites in the Guateng Region and a similar source water profile as Valpré's, the new plant will help Coca-Cola South Africa meet the needs of the increasing demand for bottled water in the country. The new Valpré plant is undergoing Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification -- an internationally recognized program that is the accepted benchmark for design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. The design of facility maximizes recycled materials and makes optimal use of water and solar energy. It has a "zero to landfill" target.
The Company launched Coca-Cola's innovative PlantBottle™ packaging. This packaging has revolutionized the beverage industry as the first-ever recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle made from up to 30% plant that is 100% recyclable. This is the 10th market to launch the bottle in the world and the first in Africa. PlantBottle™ packaging has a lighter footprint on the environment due to its reduced dependence on nonrenewables such as petroleum. By the end of 2010 (in two years since its introduction in the United States), more than 2.5 bln PlantBottle™ packages had been produced, eliminating the equivalent of approximately 60 000 barrels of oil from our plastic bottles. In addition to the environmental aspects of the plant and the new PlantBottle™, the Heidelberg plant is run by a team of talented, black women operators. This reinforces Coca-Cola's commitment to positively impact the communities in which it operates. In 2010, Muhtar Kent, Chairman and CEO ofCoca-Cola announced the Company's 5 BY 20 pledge which aims to empower 5 million women by 2020 through the Coca-Cola system. This is one of several programmes in South Africa to meet this challenge.