Business Standard

Coca Cola, Zepto expand partnership to 'return and recycle' PET bottles

Companies' expand initiative after 60-day pilot in Mumbai gets 'overwhelming customer response'

Coca Cola

Aryaman Gupta New Delhi

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Coca Cola India and Zepto, the quick commerce firm, on Monday announced expanding a programme that allows customers to return and recycle empty PET bottles of any brand by using Zepto’s delivery network.

The 'Return and Recycle' programme started as a 60-day pilot in select locations of Mumbai in November last year.

“We got an overwhelming customer response from the pilot,” Vinay Dhanai, Zepto’s chief operations officer, told 'Business Standard'. “In the first month itself, we recycled over 100 kg of PET bottles, with less than ten stores. It has only scaled since then.”

The programme is scaling up, with collection bins deployed at hundreds of Zepto delivery hubs in Delhi NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata.

Coca-Cola India’s partnership with Zepto intends to create a circular economy for plastic by connecting all participants in the PET recycling value chain.

“The process is unique and simple,” said Dhanani. “We provide consumers who want to return any sort of PET bottles a touch point via our app. This tab is available post checkout and prepayment. After the consumer selects the option, one of our last mile delivery partners gets a notification for the same.”

Delivery partners collect bottles from customers and deposit them at dark stores’ designated bins, installed by Coca Cola. The bottles are later recycled.

“It is pretty easy to scale. In the future, this touch point can be at multiple places in the app, to improve engagement through multiple modes,” Dhanani said.

“This is a first of its kind partnership where we are trying to bring sustainability into our core, everyday operations,” said Abhishek Gupta, chief customer officer for India and SWA OU at Coca-Cola Company. “This model is providing us with a digital multiplier to drive awareness and collection while meeting the needs of socially conscious consumers.”

“It is a very impactful use case designed to integrate Coca Cola's aims of plastic circulatory and a world without waste, and Zepto's best-in-class convenience and last mile delivery model,” he said.

Greishma Singh, vice president of customer and commercial leadership for Coca-Cola India and Southwest Asia, said, “With the ‘return and recycle’ initiative across India, we are furthering the company's global goal of creating a world without waste.” 

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First Published: May 15 2023 | 12:47 PM IST

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