‘Every Bottle Back’ Initiative Aims to Reduce Plastic Waste in Beverage Industry
Three of the United States’ largest beverage producers – The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr. Pepper and PepsiCo – have joined forces for an environmental initiative aimed at changing consumer mindsets regarding the recycling of the plastic bottles their beverages come in.
Led by the American Beverage Association, the new “Every Bottle Back” initiative hopes to support the circular plastics economy by getting consumers to participate in more active collection of used bottles.
Why ‘Every Bottle Back’ Is Needed
Essentially, most modern drinking bottles are crafted from PET, a plastic that’s light, yet strong and is more easily recycled into new consumer goods ranging from shoes to park benches, clothing, furniture and play equipment, and more.
These PET bottles are 100% recyclable. However, many consumers still don’t enter them back into the aforementioned circular plastics economy by participating in that recycling, often simple due to a lack of opportunity and education.
That’s what “Every Bottle Back” looks to change.
To make that happen, the initiative will focus in on several key components of the overall plan of action, including:
- Cooperation with the World Wildlife Fund and its ReSource: Plastic methodology, which aims to partner with companies to help them better track their own efforts to alter the way their plastics are produced, used and recycled
- Encouraging community recycling efforts alongside The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners to help individuals and their communities participate more actively in recycling initiatives through modernization and collaboration
- An education push to enlighten end consumers about the 100%-recyclable nature of PET bottles in an attempt to decrease the amount of waste ending up in landfills, rivers, oceans and other natural locations
- Using the actual packaging of beverage products to further reinforce this 100%-recyclable nature
How ‘Every Bottle Back’ Could Shape the Beverage Industry
The first implication of the “Every Bottle Back” initiative is perhaps the most obvious – companies, including the three aforementioned industry leaders, can participate by taking a closer look at their processes, including critical messaging on their packaging, and helping support the community, grassroots efforts that will ultimately drive individual participation.
However, there are also broader implications for the entirety of the industry and the world as a whole.
Inside the industry, even smaller beverage providers will likely need to take increased steps where possible to keep up with the new societal expectations for sustainability, and both small and large foodservice players can support recycling efforts in their communities to play an active role in the initiative.
Globally, according to the American Beverage Association, this initiative could be part of saving hundreds of millions of pounds of raw materials that would have been used for new plastics, cutting CO2 emissions, and presenting a united front that positions the food and beverage industry as leaders in the fight for our shared environment.
To learn more about the “Every Bottle Back” initiative, click here.