The Coca-Cola Foundation has donated a year-long grant, worth over $NZD300,000 to New Zealand not-for-profit group Sea Cleaners. The grant has enabled the Sea Cleaners’ team to put a new boat and crew on the water, going out five days a week and one Sunday a month to clean up the Hauraki Gulf and Kaipara Harbour. This equates to nearly 2,000 hours of marine litter collection - with the aim of collecting 2000 – 3000 litres of litter each day.

Hayden Smith, Founder and Captain of Sea Cleaners said the organisation was delighted with the grant. “The Coca-Cola Foundation grant allows us to clean up more of our precious waterways. In addition, we’ll be engaging with local communities to increase awareness of responsible recycling in New Zealand as we know education is key to changing behaviour.”

Coca-Cola Oceania’s general manager, Richard Schlasberg, added that the company was thrilled with the partnership but acknowledged that more than simply picking up litter was needed to keep New Zealand’s waterways clean.

“Our global World Without Waste vision is to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2030. That’s why we’re focused on making an impact before plastic makes it into the environment, such as increasing collection of our bottles and cans and using more recycled materials in our packaging.”

Coca-Cola Oceania also recently supported the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to help bring The Pacific Summit to New Zealand - putting the circular economy on the agenda of decision-makers across businesses, government and academia.

Andrew Morlet, Chief Executive Officer of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, said: “Today's economy is massively wasteful. A circular economy - in which we design out waste and pollution, keep products and materials in use, and regenerate natural systems - offers a new vision and opportunity for value creation and low-carbon growth that benefits businesses, society and the environment.”

Sea Cleaners has already collected 208,000L of rubbish this year as a result of the grant.