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Recycle bottles to protect our environment

Source: Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd
Friday, March 02, 2018

MISSION Pacific recycling program is the only local beverage manufacturer to be engaged in recycling PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles to protect the environment.

The program started in 1999 by Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd and recycles more than 200 tonnes of PET annually.

Consumers are encouraged to enjoy their beverages however being more mindful in how they dispose plastic bottles and taking full advantage of the Mission Pacific program.

The program is supported by Motibhai's Sprint and Fiji Water.

Meet 42-year-old Jope Bani nicknamed Kurki by close friends and family from Kinoya Village.

Mr Bani found out about the Mission Pacific recycling program more than 10 years ago from a Coca-Cola employee and has been recycling PET bottles and cans since.

He is married with six kids and says he picks up empty PET bottles with his entire family.

"My wife and I usually pick up empty bottles together," said Mr Bani.

"I bring the bottles in for collection and while she is out collecting PET bottles and cans. Sometimes my kids help pick up bottles as well but they usually help me after school or on weekends. Five of my kids are in school except my two- year-old. For two bags of bottles, I could earn about $60 and hopefully more"

He added he was proud of the work he was doing and ignored people who said negative things about him picking up bottles and cans.

"At the end of the day I am looking after my family and I'm not relying on anyone," he said.

"To support my family, I also do gardening and fishing. I have a small garden where I plant bele, dalo and cassava for us to eat."

Mr Bani's collection method is a little different from the regular recyclers that visit the factory weekly. His method of collection involves a boat and paddle.

"I usually paddle out to the nearby mangroves to collect bottles and cans. All the bottles and cans in the rivers end up in the mangroves or when it's high tide. I usually paddle around Laqere, Nukuloa Island, and Vutia in Rewa."

When he had two boats, Mr Bani said he could easily collect 10 bags in a week.

"One is damaged and although it will be very expensive, I hope to get the other replaced or fixed," he said.

Mr Bani, recycles the bottles he collects Mondays and Wednesdays at Coca-Cola Amatil (Fiji) Ltd.

For more information call 3394 240, Monday to Friday during business hours.

Opening hours for receipt of empty plastic bottles and cans are Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9am to 1pm.

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