Interview with Duduzile Dube, Public Affairs & Communications from Coca Cola, who heads Coca Cola’s recycling project.
Tell us about the recycling project of Coca-Cola.
As part of our global commitment to making a positive difference for the consumers and communities it serves, Coca-Cola has embarked on an art upcycling initiative – ‘Create Beautiful Things’ – in the hope of inspiring the local community to relook at what would be considered as trash, building their creativity and raising funds for a charitable cause.
2.) How did this entire campaign initiate?
Coca-Cola wanted to help associates understand that they can be part of the solution and that there are many steps they can take to bring about change and make a difference which lead to us conducting recycling and upcycling workshops, drawing on each of their unique skills, interests and passion. It was the brainchild of former PAC Manager Leila Rajkumar to have a sale of the items with the hopes of raising money for charity and so we planned on enlisting volunteers through reaching out to artists and young adults.
3.) How do you engage the public in this recycling campaign and how has the response been so far?
Prior to the launch of the project we had held workshops with our associates and as the project grew, we had young adults volunteer to take part in the workshops where they learnt to fabricate various items. We reached out to locally based artists such as Salah Bushehri and eco-conscious artist Vrushali who came to our plant to conduct some of the workshops and taught new techniques. We had good coverage through the launch that we held, as that resulted in some artists contacting us through our ‘Create Beautiful Things’ email address.
4.) What is your vision for the forthcoming years and where do you see it going?
Coca-Cola hopes to use ‘Create Beautiful Things’ to continue to encourage the community on upcycling by holding similar event such as the one we held in Amwaj Marina. Mohamed Akeel, Managing Director of The Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Bahrain (TCCBCB) believes that we should hold more workshops in the hope of driving change by inspiring and mobilising others which will build awareness and collectively issue a call to action.
5.) What obstacles have you faced so far and how do you overcome them?
The associates’ level of commitment and the enthusiasm to make a positive impact in the community ensured a smooth execution of the project. There is an opportunity for more community involvement and participation and we hope to have more community members on board our future projects.
6.) What is your dream in terms of this project?
Our dream is that ‘Create Beautiful Things’ will create a chain of inspiration, building stronger communities and creating a brighter future for those they touch.