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The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper have joined forces under a new US initiative spearheaded by the American Beverage Association (ABA) to reduce plastic waste from bottles.
Called Every Bottle Back, the programme is supported by the World Wildlife Fund, the Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners, and is described as “a breakthrough effort” to reduce the beverage industry’s use of new plastic.
The drinks companies 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.
As part of the initiative, a $100 million fund will be used to improve sorting, processing and collection in US areas with the biggest infrastructure gaps. The fund will be administered by the Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners and will attract an additional $300 million in matching grants and investments.
A public awareness campaign will also be launched to help consumers understand the value of recyclable bottles through.
The ABA plans to use WWF accounting methodology to measure industry progress in reducing the use of new plastic.
Finally, the beverage companies will begin introducing voluntary messaging on packages as of next year to remind consumers that the bottles are 100% recyclable.
“Our industry recognises the serious need to reduce new plastic in our environment, and we want to do our part to lead with innovative solutions,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of ABA.
“Our bottles are designed to be remade, and that is why this programme is so important. We are excited to partner with the leading environmental and recycling organisations to build a circular system for the production, use, recovery and remaking of our bottles.
“Every Bottle Back will ensure that our plastic bottles are recovered after use and remade into new bottles, so we can reduce the amount of new plastic used to bring our beverages to market. This is an important step for our industry, and it builds on our ongoing commitment to protecting the environment for generations to come.”
Jim Dinkins, president, Coca-Cola North America, added: “We’re proud to come together with our competitors to address the serious issue of plastic waste in our environment.
“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.”
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