WASHINGTON — On Earth Day, and every day, the American Beverage Association (ABA) and its member companies demonstrate their longstanding commitment to our environment through ongoing efforts to further reduce their environmental impact.
“The beverage industry’s leadership in environmental sustainability has never been stronger than it is today,” said Susan Neely, ABA president and CEO. “We are leading a race to the top in the consumer products industry through the design of lightweight, more environmentally-friendly packaging. Through our support, we are seeing comprehensive, efficient and effective community recycling programs get off the ground, including one launched this past year through a successful partnership with Florida’s Palm Beach County. Our work is helping in communities throughout America, and as an industry, we have only just begun.”
This past year, the ABA supported a pilot project called “Recycle on the Go” in Palm Beach County, Fla. Parks, beaches and boardwalks were the target locations for placement of 125 recycling bins, which were paired together with waste bins. Promotional activities were carried out by the local jurisdictions, including North Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Lake Park,Wellington and West Palm Beach. The goals of the project were to:
- Measure and improve public space recycling performance;
- Create an effective, attractive and sustainable recycling system for beverage containers generated in the public space for each participating jurisdiction;
- Provide opportunities for the public to recycle beverage containers and reduce litter; and
- Increase public awareness of opportunities to recycle while away from home.
Data compilation is currently underway, but it is expected to show that the project is working to capture a significant amount of recyclable beverage containers and reduce the amount of litter in the locations that bins were placed.
“We care deeply about our industry’s impact on the environment; our operations reflect the priority and longstanding commitment we have to a clean environment,” said Kate Krebs , ABA senior environmental policy advisor. “Most importantly, we are beginning to see some real, positive change. Our companies are engaging with citizens and communities to partner on projects that encourage everyone to do better, do more and do the right thing when it comes to the health of our planet. OnEarth Day, it is important to acknowledge these efforts are working.”
Some examples of ABA member companies’ efforts include:
- The Coca-Cola Company is working to expand access to recycling and increase participation. In partnership with Keep America Beautiful, the Company recently announced the recipients of its Recycling Bin Grant program, which will help more than 150 communities across America advance their recycling efforts this year. Through this initiative and others, The Coca-Cola Company has now placed more than 180,000 bins throughout North America since 2008. This is in support of Coca-Cola’s goal to recover 50 percent of the equivalent bottles and cans it places in market by 2015. In addition, Coca-Cola diverts more than 95 percent of solid waste from landfills in its North American facilities.
- Since its establishment in 2008, Dr Pepper Snapple Group has invested resources into aligning and integrating its operations to serve customers and consumers more efficiently and, as a result, conserve fuel and reduce emissions in transporting products. The company has removed millions of miles from its over-the-road distribution footprint as a result of improved logistics, including intermodal transportation. DPS is also on track to reach its goal to replace 60,000 older vending machines and coolers with EPA Energy Star-rated cold drink equipment that consumes approximately 30 percent less energy. In addition, through container lightweighting and other packaging improvements, DPS has conserved 46 million pounds of PET since 2007. The company also has increased its diversion of manufacturing solid waste to 82 percent and just last month announced a partnership with Keep America Beautiful to fund the placement of recycling bins in public parks.
- To celebrate the launch of its new 0.5L ReBorn bottle, made with 50 percent recycled plastic, Nestle Waters North America’s Arrowhead brand launched the “Recycling Is A Beautiful Thing” video with visual elements created out of recycled materials. The video shows artistically beautiful ways to repurpose recycleable materials with the goal of inspiring people to recycle more. Last November, Arrowhead also partnered with Keep California Beautiful (KCB) to promote America Recycles Day in San Francisco. Arrowhead, KCB and other community partners hosted a recycling education and beautification event near Fisherman’s Wharf with more than 150 volunteers. Arrowhead also provided funds to install four solar-powered BigBelly bins that serve as a one-stop solution for recyclables, compostables and trash, which was a first for public spaces in the United States.
- PepsiCo was recognized with the prestigious 2012 Stockholm Industry Water Award for its comprehensive approach to water stewardship. It announced that it reached its goal to improve global water use efficiency by more than 20 percent per unit of production four years ahead of its 2015 target date. Last month it announced that it had reached another goal in partnering to provide access to safe water to three million people in developing countries by the end of 2015, three years early. The company’s Dream Machine Recycling Initiative, done in collaboration with Waste Management and Keep America Beautiful, continues to address the need for greater public access to recycling solutions and to help increase the national recycling rate. Since program launch, 5,500 Dream Machine bins and electronic kiosks have been placed, and nearly 1,000 K-12 schools across 42 states have participated in the Dream Machine Recycle Rally program. This has resulted in more than 190 million recyclable bottles and cans being diverted from landfills to recycling.