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:





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


Download this report (free)
[PDF, 2.1MB]

Stay tuned for CRI's upcoming sequel to “Bottled Up”:

"Tipping Point:  Beverage Container Wasting, Plastic Pollution and The Failed Promise of Curbside Recycling"
(forthcoming later in 2022)

State data packages for the 2022 BMDA (2019 data year) are already available for purchase. 
To see table titles in each state package (or U.S. data set), download a file map here. You can also download sample tables from the 2022 BMDA (2019 data year) here

To purchase a state data package, please click on this contact form, and tell us which state you're interested in. Each state package is $1,000, and 501(c)3 organizations may request the $500 non-profit price.

Download our 2010 report here:
"Wasting and Recycling Trends" (2008 data)

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