How this 78-year-old Cape Town company became one of the most water-efficient manufacturers of Coke in the world

Business Insider SA

Less water for your pop.
  • Peninsula Beverages has reduced its water usage from 1 billion litres in 2004 to 570 million litres per year.
  • It only uses 1.6 litres of water to make 1 litre of Coke, making it one of the top five most efficient Coca-Cola bottling plants in the world.
  • Coke hopes to achieve a global average of 1.7 litres of water per 1 litre of product by 2020

Ten years ago, Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages began trying to make its operations more water efficient. Today, the company is one of Coca-Cola's top five most water-efficient plants.

The independent bottling company, which has been around since 1940, delivers soft drinks like Coke, Sparletta, and Fanta to shops in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces.

The company only uses 1.6 litres of water to produce one litre of Coke — below Coca-Cola's 2020 target of using 1.7 litres of water or less to produce one litre of soda. Coca-Cola has more than 900 bottling plants.

The drive to save water started long before Cape Town's current water crisis, says manager Johan Breytenbach. As a result it now uses only 570 million litres of water per year, down from around 1 billion litres per year more than a decade ago.

Read: This Cape Town woman saves her poo, and she thinks you should too

In 2004 Coke was using 2,74 litres of water to make 1 liter of product and by 2020 it wants to reduce this to 1.7 litres of water per liter of product.

The company uses a water cascading system in which the water used to clean bottles is then reused to wash packing crates. It also has foot-operated taps for quicker closing, waterless lubrication systems, and it does not wash its trucks more than strictly necessary.

“We also installed more than 50 water meters in the facility. It means we can track each part of the facility — understand exactly where the water usage is going,” says Breytenbach.

What drinks are your water guzzlers per glass?

1. Coffee 264 litres per 250 ml

2. Wine 218 litres for a 250 ml

3. Coca-cola 110 litres for 250 ml

4. Beer 74 litres for 250 ml

5. Tea 27 litre for 250 ml


That means the water the company saved in 2017 was enough to provide 56 households with water for an entire year.   

What are your companies doing to save water on their production lines? If you have a story to tell email us on

* Correction: The infographic previously stated 0.4 litres per 250ml of Coke -  this is amount of water CCBP use in their factory , and not the entire green chain, which has been updated. 

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