Beverage companies launch new recycling initiative

Global beverage companies PepsiCo, The Coca-Cola Company and Keurig Dr Pepper have partnered in support of a new recycling initiative from the American Beverage Association (ABA). Every Bottle Back seeks to reduce the use of virgin plastics by investing in the collection and recycling of existing plastics bottles.

The programme has been developed in conjunction with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partnership. It aims to measure industry progress in reducing the use of virgin plastics in the US through a collaboration with ReSource: Plastic, WWF’s corporate activation hub.

“Measured by our ReSource: Plastic footprint tracker, the efforts made through Every Bottle Back will be met with data-driven solutions to ensure that real progress is being made,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of private sector engagement at WWF. “We hope the ambition raised by this initiative will inspire other industries to follow suit within the broader effort to stop plastic waste pollution.”

Every Bottle Back will also try to improve the quality and availability of recycled plastics in key regions of the country by directing the equivalent of $400 million to The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners through a new $100m industry fund that, according to ABA, will be matched three-to-one by other grants and investors.

The investments will be used to improve sorting, processing and collection in areas with the biggest infrastructure gaps to help increase the amount of recycled plastics available to be remade into beverage bottles.

Meanwhile, a public awareness campaign will be launched to help consumers understand the value of 100 per cent recyclable bottles – through community outreach and partner engagement – and reinforce the importance of getting these bottles back.

“Our industry recognises the serious need to reduce new plastics in our environment and we want to do our part to lead with innovative solutions,” said Katherine Lugar, president and chief executive of ABA. “Our bottles are designed to be remade and that is why this programme is so important.”

The initiative’s partners hope that Every Bottle Back will become a model for future collaboration in the development of a circular economy for plastics. “We’re proud to come together with our competitors to address the serious issue of plastics waste in our environment,” commented Jim Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America. “We know we cannot do this alone and, in order to meet our goals and those of our industry, we need to work in partnership to drive collective action to ensure our bottles have second, third and fourth lives through continued recycling and re-use.”