Our member companies produce 100 percent recyclable packaging that is among the most recycled consumer products in the world. One of the most visible ways we lead on environmental sustainability is through our efforts to recover that packaging through model recycling collection programs for consumers when they are both at home and on-the-go. We also have a strong record of supporting local public policy to implement or expand recycling systems that address all recyclables. Recognizing that towns and cities may have different environmental priorities, we have worked as a partner on a range of initiatives, including:Massachusetts – Recycling Challenge Partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, ABA is providing technical assistance to local communities in the state to help them implement a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) waste system. This program in currently underway and is expected to be completed early next year. PAYT offers an immediate and significant incentive to households that reduce trash and increase recycling by charging residents a fee for each unit of waste they discard instead of a fixed fee per household. Florida – Public Space Recycling ABA launched a new effort in Palm Beach County to help residents and visitors to recycle empty beverage containers while away from home by placing nearly 130 recycling bins in key locations, including parks, boardwalks, sports fields and beaches. This effort reduced public space litter by 75 percent and resulted in significantly increased recycling rates.
Tennessee – “Do Your Part with the Cart” ABA funded the delivery of 20,000 recycling carts to Knoxville residences that received weekly curbside pick-up in conjunction with garbage pick-up at no additional charge. This initiative increased recycling participation to 85 percent – a 60 percent increase. Connecticut – “Go Green Use Blue” Working with elected officials in Hartford, industry helped lead an effort that resulted in the implementation of a citywide, single-stream recycling program. Research compiled by the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority shows that this initiative has seen six consecutive years of increased recycling. The most recent available data for 2012 notes that nearly 92,000 tons were recycled – doubling recycling rates and saving more than $6 million in trash fees.
For more information on the beverage industry’s environmental leadership, check out www.ameribev.org.