WASHINGTON — The Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo, Inc. and Keurig Dr Pepper on Oct. 30 introduced “Every Bottle Back,” an initiative that will invest in improving the collection of plastic bottles so they may be made into new bottles and not end up as waste in oceans, rivers or landfills. An industry fund of $100 million will be used to improve sorting, processing and collection.
“We’re proud to come together with our competitors to address the serious issue of plastic waste in our environment,” said James Dinkins, president of Coca-Cola North America. “We know we cannot do this alone, and by working in partnership, we seek to drive collective action to help ensure our bottles have second, third and fourth lives through continued recycling and re-use.”
The World Wildlife Fund will provide scientific advice to help measure the industry’s progress in reducing its plastic footprint. The Recycling Partnership, which is a national non-profit organization, and Closed Loop Partners, which invests in a circular economy, will assist in deploying funds.
A public awareness campaign will educate people on the value of 100% recyclable bottles. A poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies on behalf of the Washington-based American Beverage Association found almost half of consumers were unaware beverage companies make bottles that are 100% recyclable. The majority of plastic beverage containers in the United States are made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET).
“Reaching our goal of no plastic in nature by 2030 will only happen if business, governments and the N.G.O. (non-governmental organizations) community work together to fix a broken plastic material system,” said Sheila Bonini, senior vice-president of private sector engagement at the World Wildlife Fund.
The American Beverage Association will spearhead the initiative.
“Our industry recognizes 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 chief executive officer of the A.B.A. “Our bottles are designed to be remade, and that is why this program is so important. We are excited to partner with the leading environmental and recycling organizations to build a circular system for the production, use, recovery and remaking of our bottles.”