The BEAR Multi-Stakeholder Report on Beverage Container Recycling

In 2000, a group of companies, government agencies, and environmental organizations interested in bottle and can recycling convened to research and produce a report on comparative beverage container recycling programs in the United States. Operating under the name Businesses and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling (BEAR), they hired a team of consultants to undertake an objective analysis of the state of U.S. beverage container recycling, and of the costs and success rates of various recycling systems. They also facilitated discussions among the diverse stakeholders over a 2 year period.

The result was the report, “Understanding Beverage Container Recovery: A Value Chain Assessment Prepared for the Multi-Stakeholder Recovery Project (MSRP), Stage 1.” Businesses and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling (BEAR), a Project of Global Green USA, January 16, 2002.

(Stage 2 of the MSRP, an action plan aimed at increasing recycling rates, never materialized due to the failure of the group to reach consensus.)

Among the report’s findings was that in 1999, a combination of recycling methods operating in the nation’s 10 deposits states recycled 490 containers per capita, while the nation's 40 non-deposit states (relying on curbsides and drop-offs) recycled 191 containers per capita.

Use the links below to download the BEAR report, and to read CRI and others’ commentary on it.

Read the BEAR Report:

Statements and Releases on the BEAR Report:




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Bottled Up: Beverage Container Recycling Stagnates (2000-2010)


As part of our thought leadership and mission to help improve beverage container recycling in the U.S., CRI periodically performs an analysis of beverage container sales and recycling rates, and publishes the information in the form of an authoritative report for use by decision-makers and recycling advocates. The 2013 edition of this signature report is Bottled Up: Beverage Container Recycling Stagnates (2000- 2010).

Download the free report and stay tuned for CRI's sequel to Bottled Up:
Tipping Point: Beverage Container Wasting, Plastic Pollution and
the Failed Promise of Curbside Recycling

Interested in state-specific or U.S. data that serves as the foundation for CRI reports?

The Beverage Market Data Analysis (BMDA) produced by CRI includes the most thorough information available on beverage container sales, recycling and wasting data – providing government, industry and environmental organizations with analytical and predictive tools not available elsewhere.

Reports for specific states and the nation as a whole are available for purchase. The 2022 edition of the BMDA covers the 2019 data year.

Learn more about these packages and purchase information on our BMDA website page

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