Coca-Cola looks upon the next generation to reduce, reuse and recycle materials to protect the environment while reducing greenhouse emissions.

The Recycling@U programme strives to make recycling a habit and part of the lifestyle among university students, beginning with plastic, aluminum, glass and electronics waste (e-waste), while reinforcing the repercussions of mindless disposal of waste such as leaching of toxic metals and non-biodegradable items.

The programme will see 5 universities across Peninsular Malaysia building their very own on-campus Recycling Centers run by the student body, which will be supported with environmental education and recycling drives to push the awareness further.

Led by long time partner and one of the country’s greenest universities, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), Recycling@U will see the participation of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (Selangor), Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (Perak), Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia (Negeri Sembilan), and Universiti Tun Hussein Onn Malaysia (Johor).

All five universities are committed to actively engage their student body to embrace the Zero Waste concept that challenges the old way of thinking about waste as something that has no value and to be thrown away, ending up in landfills and incinerators. 

Instead, the philosophy holds that the concept of waste should be eliminated as the way materials flow through society systematically changes. From reducing consumption, minimising wastage, maximising recycling and composting, to ensuring that products and materials are designed to use less resources and made to be reused, recycled or biodegradable.

“Education is the foundation for progress. We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to our planet. Recycle activities can contribute to reduce climate change. Through knowledge, we can empower everyone and inspire action in defense of environmental protection,” said Professor Emeritus Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Syed Jalaludin Syed Salim, Chairman of UPM Board of Directors during the official launch.

The programme launch was held in conjunction with Earth Day at UPM main campus where nearly 1,000 students from schools and participating universities attended the event which also showcased sustainability efforts by youths. 

Inspiring young minds at the exhibition were Kloth and GreenTech Malaysia who reinforced how green choices can be incorporated into daily life, from a simple decision to purchase quality green apparels created from sustainable fabrics made from recycled plastic bottles.

“At Coca-Cola, we have implemented strategies to increase the sustainability of our packaging and are finding ways to avoid them from turning into waste. We recognize, however, that a truly sustainable effort requires a wide range of actions, including engaging consumers, advocating for needed policy changes, building supply chain partnerships, developing renewable technologies and more. Ultimately, it requires building a system in which many people, institutions and technologies work together to reduce, redesign, recover, recycle and reuse packaging,” said Ahmed Yehia, Country Manager for Malaysia-Singapore-Brunei, The Coca-Cola Company.