America’s leading beverage companies, such as The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig, Dr Pepper, and PepsiCo, today announced the launch of the “Every Bottle Back” initiative, an effort to reduce the industry’s use of new plastic by making significant investments to improve the collection of the industry’s valuable plastic bottles so they can be made into new bottles.
These competitors are coming together to support the circular plastics economy by reinforcing to consumers the value of their 100% recyclable plastic bottles and caps and ensuring they don’t end up as waste in oceans, rivers, or landfills. This program is being executed in conjunction with two environmental nonprofits and an investment firm focused on the development of the circular economy. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will provide strategic scientific advice to help measure the industry’s progress in reducing its plastic footprint and The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners will assist in deploying funds for the initiative.
The “Every Bottle Back” initiative, spearheaded by ABA, will:
- Measure industry progress in reducing the use of new plastic in the United States through a collaboration with “ReSource: Plastic”, WWF’s corporate activation hub to help companies turn their ambitious plastic waste commitments into meaningful and measurable progress by rethinking the way plastic material is produced, used and recycled. Specifically, ABA will use the “ReSource: Plastic” accounting methodology to track the collective progress made on executing strategies to reduce the use of new plastic as well as a resource in identifying additional interventions.
- Improve the quality and availability of recycled plastic in key regions of the country by directing the equivalent of $400 million to The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners through a new $100 million industry fund that will be matched 3:1 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 plastic available to be remade into beverage bottles.
- Launch a public awareness campaign to help consumers understand the value of 100% recyclable bottles through community outreach and partner engagement and reinforce the importance of getting these bottles back, so they can be remade into new bottles. According to a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) on behalf of ABA, nearly half of consumers were unaware that America’s leading beverage companies are already making bottles that are 100% recyclable, including the caps.
- Work together to leverage packaging to remind consumers that our bottles are 100% recyclable and can be remade into new bottles. Beverage companies will begin introducing voluntary messaging on packages beginning in late 2020.
The majority of plastic beverage containers in the United States are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, a strong, lightweight and safe plastic approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in food and beverage containers. It is unique, and because of its quality and versatility, recycled PET for years has been in high demand for use in an array of products as varied as clothing, carpets and playground equipment. Through the “Every Bottle Back” initiative, beverage companies are stepping up efforts to reclaim as much plastic packaging as possible to ensure it is remade into new PET bottles.