Zero Beverage Container Waste?

Goal-setting by the beverage industry

Cutting Beverage Container Waste, A to Z:

Goal-setting by the beverage industry

We call on the U.S. beverage and packaging industries to join us in adopting Zero Beverage Container Waste goals.

In 1998,the Aluminum Association, a Washington trade group, adopted a goal of recycling 75% of all aluminum cans sold in the U.S. Unfortunately, the industry has fallen far short of that goal (the aluminum can recycling rate was 45% in 2004), and little has been heard about it since.

Under pressure from the recycling community and socially responsible investor groups, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo adopted 10% recycled content goals in 2001 and 2002. This means that they pledged that the plastic bottles they buy would contain at least 10% reclaimed PET bottles, instead of virgin plastic resin. Neither company has agreed to adopt recycling goals. Other trade organizations and beverage companies have not publicly adopted specific recycling goals.

We call on all beverage companies, and their major trade associations (see links below), to adopt aggressive recycling and waste reduction goals, to set dates by which these goals should be achieved, and to put forth programmatic plans for doing so. We recognize that these industries have traditionally opposed bottle bills (or “forced deposit” programs), so we call on them to institute their own voluntary programs—of any sort—that will be as effective at container recycling as deposit systems have been for 35 years.

Container waste reduction goals and target dates should also be adopted by the National Recycling Coalition, which has led the major beverage brand owners in a recent dialogue on falling container recycling rates , and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Office of Solid Waste, whose Resource Conservation Challenge has targeted beverage containers for increased recovery, but has not yet set goals or dates.

Some links:

Major brand owners :

Trade associations :

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