Every Bottle Back
October 29, 2019
Consumers want to feel good about the beverages they enjoy, and they are rightfully frustrated when they see our bottles in oceans, rivers or beaches. Ohio’s beverage makers could not agree more. We all have a responsibility to protect our planet.
That is why the American Beverage Association, alongside America’s leading beverage companies including The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo and an unprecedented coalition of environmental and sustainability leaders are launching a new effort aimed at improving the way we collect and remake the plastic in our bottles. For families in our home state of Ohio, this effort will have an immediate impact, ensuring our bottles end up back on shelves and not as litter, in landfills or waterways. And to ensure that we are delivering real results, we have partnered with the World Wildlife Fund to monitor our progress and measure our success in reducing the beverage industry’s plastic footprint.
What many people don’t know, our industry is already designing their bottles and caps to be 100% recyclable. We use versatile plastic known as polyethylene terephthalate (PET) to make our bottles and caps. PET is designed to be recycled and remade many times over. That means less need for new plastic, lower costs and a smaller environmental footprint. It’s also in high demand by manufacturers worldwide.
Of course, selecting the right plastic is only part of the equation. We need to get our bottles back to help reduce the amount of new plastic needed to bring beverages to the market. That is where our new initiative opens a new chapter in the journey toward a circular economy.
Under Every Bottle Back, we are doubling down on the beverage industry’s long-standing commitments to sustainability and directing the equivalent of $400 million to The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Fund. A new $100 million industry fund will be matched three-to-one by grants and investors. These investments will help to deploy new technology, and expand consumer outreach programs designed to ramp up the collection of plastic bottles, improve community recycling systems, and reduce the need for new plastic by beverage makers.
Consumers play an important role, but we will make it easier. That includes the voluntarily placement of uniform labels on packages to inform consumers that our plastic bottles are 100% recyclable, and when we get them back, they can be remade into new bottles.
Every Bottle Back will also enable recycling centers to more efficiently sort and process the valuable plastic in our bottles so they can be remade again and again. It will initially serve 23 million families across the country.
Ultimately, this initiative is an important step towards the creation of a truly circular economy, making sure valuable PET bottles end up where they belong – back on the shelf. But it also will provide a roadmap for sustainability efforts nationwide.
Our hope is that the Every Bottle Back initiative, through the programs, educational tools and services it supports, will inspire other industries to partner with local communities to reduce their own plastic footprint. A more sustainable future is within reach.