The American Beverage Association, Washington, has announced that the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will be the first region of investment under its Every Bottle Back initiative to increase the collection of 100 percent recyclable plastic bottles.
Launched in October 2019, Every Bottle Back is a coalition of American Beverage Association members—the Coca-Cola Co., Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo—along with environmental and sustainability leaders Switzerland-based World Wildlife Fund, New York-based Closed Loop Partners and Falls Church, Virginia-based The Recycling Partnership. These groups have come together to support the circular economy by reinforcing to consumers the value of 100 percent recyclable plastic bottles and caps and ensuring these materials don’t end up as waste in oceans, rivers or landfills.
Every Bottle Back will invest in the collection, recycling and processing systems in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the American Beverage Association reports in a news release on the commitment.
“Our plastic bottles are made to be remade, and we are excited to work alongside communities in Dallas-Fort Worth to bolster recycling and demonstrate how innovative solutions can make a real difference for future generations,” says Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “This is an important step for our industry and builds on our ongoing commitment to create a more circular economy where our 100 percent recyclable bottles are never wasted but are remade as intended.”
As a part of the initiative’s investment in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Every Bottle Back plans to invest about $2 million into Austin, Texas-based Balcones Resources’ material recovery facility to enhance it with optical sorters, artificial intelligence and robotics that separate recyclable plastics along with new belt configurations to improve the processing of recyclable materials.
Also, the initiative plans to work with multifamily housing complexes in the Dallas Metroplex where about 50,000 residents will benefit from expanded recycling access as a result of upgraded recycling collection vehicles, on-site and in-unit educational signage and outreach and new containers for recycling. New services will also be convenient with recycling picked up at residents’ front doors, the American Beverage Association reports.
Additionally, the initiative is investing in the city of Fort Worth where it will provide cart-to-cart outreach and best-in-class educational materials on how to recycle to reduce recycling contamination in that city. The initiative also plans to work with the North Central Texas Council of Governments to share a public service campaign called “Know What to Throw” to educate residents across 230 communities on how to decrease contamination of recyclable materials, like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and aluminum cans.
Overall, the American Beverage Association reports that about $3 million will be invested in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as part of the Every Bottle Back initiative, including infrastructure, MRF improvements, access to recycling as well as education to single-family and multifamily homes.
“This important effort will help ensure that modern recycling infrastructure exists to support curbside recycling in the Dallas-Fort Worth community,” says Carol McGarah of the Texas Beverage Association. “I’m very grateful to our local partners across the region for inviting us to help expand and improve recycling opportunities available to Texas families.”
“With support from The Coca-Cola Co., Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo, we have the resources to make game-changing investments to optimize recycling in Dallas-Fort Worth,” adds Ron Gonen, chief executive officer of Closed Loop Partners. “Our work with the Balcones material recovery facility promises to serve as a model for the effectiveness of industry collaboration in modernizing recycling infrastructure, driving a reduction in the use of virgin plastic and building a more circular economy.”
According to a news release from the American Beverage Association, the Every Bottle Back initiative plans to measure industry progress in reducing the use of new plastic. The initiative plans to roll out about $400 million worth of investments in a seven- to 10-year period across different regions of the U.S. “Ultimately, we hope to support the creation of a more circular system for recreating bottles to new bottles that reduces our industry’s plastic footprint and conserves resources,” Lugar of the American Beverage Association adds.