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Zero Waste Tisza program wins international PR awards

Coca-Cola Hungary’s environmental protection CSR program Zero Waste Tisza won awards in two categories (Environmental and Community Relations) at the 2020 Golden World Awards of the International Public Relations Association (IPRA), according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

"Many entries tackled health issues including responses to COVID-19, while conserving tuna stocks featured in Japan, and Hungary imagined a world without waste," the association’s announcement states.

In the summer of 2019, Coca‑Cola Hungary committed to clean Tisza, the second-longest river in Hungary, partnering with the water management directorate and an NGO.

The Zero Waste Tisza program, supported by The Coca‑Cola Foundation with HUF 73 million, focuses on removing plastic pollution from the river and accumulated garbage from the floodplain.

The main objective of the two-year-long Zero Waste Tisza program is to collect and recycle at least 80 tons of waste, with the help of waste collection contest Plastic Cup.

So far, the company has collected more than 49 tons of waste with the assistance of Plastic Cup, according to the press release.

Beyond financial support, Coca‑Cola Hungary also organized three volunteer days with the participation of 170 colleagues in total.

Besides the waste collection in the summer, the volunteers also cleaned particularly polluted, environmentally important areas during the year, such as Natura 2000 forests. These actions were coordinated by Plastic Cup.

Tracking waste with GPS

The program continues this year. Experts of Plastic Cup let PET bottles equipped with GPS into the river, with the help of the Upper Tisza Diving and Lifeguard Organization. The four bottles thrown into the flooding Tisza at Vásárosnamény are helping the PET Cup’s waste monitoring program. During the tracking research, the bottles receive GPS signals and transmit radio signals.

The devices developed within the Zero Waste Tisza project can help to track the waste’s path, floating on the river for up to two years. Coca-Cola Hungary and its partners will hold the program’s next volunteer day on September 18.