Coca-Cola to close recycling division

Coca-Cola to close recycling division

Beverage firm says it will continue to work aggressively to increase recycling efforts.

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November 21, 2014

coca-cola headquarters atlantaCoca-Cola Co., Atlanta, has announced plans to close down its recycling division by the end of 2014, and will work more closely with its suppliers to provide the company with the recyclable material, including PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastics, for its packaging products.

A spokesperson for Coca-Cola says its recycling division included procuring and selling recyclable containers that it would consume internally.

The beverage giant established Coca-Cola Recycling in 2007.

While the company will be shuttering its recycling division, it stresses that it will continue to play an active role in growing the recycling market. The company says, “The Coca-Cola Company’s current goal is to lead the industry in packaging sustainability including PlantBottle, reducing our packaging footprint and increasing recovery and using recyclable materials. In the United States, we will continue to work more directly with our value chain to increase the use of recycled materials.”

Coca-Cola adds, “As the industry is evolving, we no longer need to directly engage in the buying and selling of recyclable materials. We are excited about the opportunities this will create and remain committed to broad-based sustainability initiatives in North America.”

Coca-Cola says it remains committed to using recyclables in its packaging as well as advancing recycling. To highlight the fact, the company notes that “about 44 percent of the equivalent bottles and cans we place in the market in North America are recovered through various programs nationally.”

Other steps Coca-Cola has taken to demonstrate its support of recycling efforts include the following:
 
  • The company has placed more than 238,000 recycle bins in communities and customer locations across North America since 2008. Partnering with Stamford, Connecticut-based Keep America Beautiful, the company’s Recycling Bin Grant Program has awarded nearly 4,000 recycle bins to colleges and universities, nonprofit organizations and communities across the United States in 2014. This brings the total number of bins provided by this Coca-Cola funded program to more than 35,000 since its inception.
  • Coca-Cola joined Walmart’s Closed Loop Fund to help provide more Americans with access to recycling infrastructure, while decreasing the materials deposited in landfills.
  • Coca-Cola is restructuring how it procures recyclable materials and will focus on developing its sources of supply.
  • The company will continue to work with its suppliers, customers and the industry to increase recycled content in its packaging.