The PepsiCo Foundation, the philanthropic arm of food and beverage company PepsiCo, headquartered in Purchase, New York, and national nonprofit The Recycling Partnership, Falls Church, Virginia, have launched All In On Recycling. The organizations describe All In On Recycling as “the largest ever industrywide residential recycling challenge,” adding that it is designed to make recycling easier for 25 million families across the U.S. by providing them with the resources they need to recycle more and better.
The PepsiCo Foundation says it is providing $10 million in funding to jumpstart the challenge, which is seeking to raise $25 million in total donations from leading businesses, companies and organizations. In addition to contributions from other corporations, the more than 2,800 communities that participate in the initiative are expected to triple the collective investment, catalyzing roughly $75 million in municipal funding and bringing the total amount of support to $100 million, according to a news release issued by the PepsiCo Foundation.
“I’ve always believed corporations do not operate in a vacuum—we have responsibilities to the communities we serve,” says Indra Nooyi, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo. “Our collaboration with The Recycling Partnership represents a major step toward fulfilling those responsibilities by helping reverse the decline in recycling rates for aluminum and many common plastics. I hope other corporations across our industry and beyond will join us and commit to being All In On Recycling."
Because of the lack of infrastructure, widely varying municipal recycling programs and low awareness of proper recycling practices, more than half of the material that could be recycled from U.S. households is lost, according to the PepsiCo Foundation. However, 94 percent of Americans want to recycle more, and would, with easily accessible recycling containers and clear information about proper recycling practices, according to a 2016 study from the Carton Council of North America.
According to The Recycling Partnership’s estimates, the challenge will help the U.S. capture 1.9 million tons of quality recyclables within the next five years, including 7 billion bottles and cans. This would result in a total greenhouse gas avoidance of 5.5 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is the equivalent of removing more than 1 million cars from the road for one year.
“We are thrilled with the PepsiCo Foundation's generosity and leadership in creating a more sustainable future through recycling,” says Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. "The PepsiCo Foundation's $10 million support not only allows us to make significant, measurable impact in communities, the environment and people's lives all over the country but also sends a powerful industrywide message that we can only transform recycling if we work together. Companies know that while they can be fierce competitors on the shelf, once their products hit the recycling cart, we’re all in this together.”
According to the organizations, half of the total funds raised by this challenge are expected to help provide curbside carts to more than 550,000 households—a proven way to double the number of recyclables recovered—and the missing infrastructure needed to recover recyclables from multifamily homes, such as apartment buildings and condos, which is one of the most challenging segments of the population to serve. The other half of the funding will support critical recycling education and operational programs that will increase collection of recyclables while reducing contamination.
“We all must work to protect and reuse our world’s limited natural resources,” says Tim Carey, senior director of sustainability at PepsiCo. "When it comes to U.S. recycling, PepsiCo has a long history of working with stakeholders and investing to improve recycling rates, and we’ve learned a lot. Our holistic approach includes making packaging more sustainable and investing in infrastructure to make recycling easier and more convenient—all to get recyclable materials back and support a circular economy. I encourage everyone who wants to make a difference to join the challenge so that, together, we lift U.S. recycling rates and close the loop.”
Some of the funds raised through the initiative will be used to provide recycling solutions to cities such as Miami, Florida; and El Paso, Texas; as well as the state of Michigan and the central Ohio region.
“On behalf of central Ohio's recycling programs, we are grateful that The Recycling Partnership and the PepsiCo Foundation have created the All In On Recycling challenge,” says Ty Marsh, executive director, the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO). “Communities in central Ohio still need funding for curbside recycling carts in order to provide the best possible access to recycling for our residents. We hope other major corporations join this challenge to reach $25 million in total funding so that thousands of cities and towns across the country can make improvements to their recycling systems.”
The All In On Recycling initiative is part of PepsiCo’s sustainability program, Performance with Purpose, which aims to deliver sustainable, long-term growth while leaving a positive imprint on society and the environment. By 2025, PepsiCo’s goals are to design 100 percent of its packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable; increase recycled materials in its plastic packaging; reduce packaging’s carbon impact; and, in partnership with the PepsiCo Foundation, work to increase recycling rates. PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation have invested approximately $55 million in recycling in the U.S. in the last nine years.
More information on the challenge is available at http://allinonrecycling.com.