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Coca-Cola teams with its competitors to fight plastic waste

'Every Bottle Back' initiative to tackle gaps in recycling


November 5, 2019
By Canadian Vending
From left: Kirk Tanner, CEO, PepsiCo Beverages North America; Sheila Bonini, SVP, private sector engagement, WWF; Katherine Lugar, president and CEO, ABA; Derek Hopkins, chief commercial officer, Keurig Dr Pepper; Jim Dinkins, president, Coca-Cola North America; Ron Gonen, CEO, Closed Loop Partners; and Keefe Harrison, CEO, The Recycling Partnership, at the "Every Bottle Back" press conference in Washington, D.C.  Photo courtesy of The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is teaming up with its two largest competitors to tackle North America’s plastic waste problem through an industry initiative called “Every Bottle Back.”


Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo will join Coca-Cola in the American Beverage Association (ABA)-organized coalition, which also includes World Wildlife Fund (WWF), The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners.

“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 CEO of the American Beverage Association (ABA) in a press release. “Our bottles are designed to be remade, and that is why this program is so important… ‘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.”

Every Bottle Back” includes four core components:

  • Reducing the use of new (virgin) plastic in the U.S. Progress will be measured using WWF’s ReSource: Plastic accounting methodology, and data collected will be used to drive actionable solutions.
  • Investing US$100 million to improve sorting, processing and collection of discarded plastic bottles in four key U.S. regions. The industry-backed fund, which will be administered by the Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners, will attract an additional $300 million in matching grants and investment to increase the amount of recycled plastic available to be remade into beverage bottles.
  • Launching a public awareness and community outreach campaign to promote recycling and promote the value of 100 per cent recyclable bottles. According to a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) on behalf of ABA, nearly half of U.S. consumers are unaware that the country’s leading beverage companies are making 100 per cent recyclable bottles.
  • Working together to use packaging to remind consumers that PET bottles are 100% recyclable and can be remade into new bottles. U.S. beverage companies will begin introducing voluntary messaging on packaging labels beginning in late 2020.

“We’re proud to come together with our competitors to address the serious issue of plastic waste in our environment,” said Jim Dinkins, president, Coca-Cola North America in a press release. “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.”