PepsiCo has announced Pine Forest High School in Fayetteville, North Carolina, as the first-place winner of the 2016–2017 nationwide Recycle Rally contest. The school recycled nearly 8.7 million bottles and cans during the school year, which PepsiCo says is the highest number recorded in the seven-year history of the Recycle Rally program.
“Recycle Rally has provided more than 2,000 schools across the country the opportunity to make recycling easy, fun and rewarding,” says Tim Carey, senior director of sustainability at PepsiCo. “We are proud to offer leadership opportunities to students who are passionate about making positive changes in the environment. Students at Pine Forest exemplify how Recycle Rally participants can make an impact in their community and beyond.”
Pine Forest students brought the initiative to Fayetteville through radio and television spots and by forging partnerships with local businesses and the nearby Fort Bragg military base. Student leaders recruited more than 50 teachers, parents and volunteers to sort and weigh the materials that ultimately helped to win the $20,000 cash prize.
“Pine Forest students and faculty are honored to receive the PepsiCo Recycle Rally award,” says the school’s principal, David Culbreth. “We recognize our students’ hard work and dedication to recycling, and could not be more proud of our collective community for actively joining in the small act of recycling to produce a larger, positive impact on the environment.”
Adds Mindy Love, recycling education and outreach coordinator for the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, “Our schools play a vital role in recycling efforts across the state, so it’s very encouraging and exciting that Pine Forest is the nationwide Recycle Rally champion.”
Recycle Rally was formed as part of PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose initiative, which aims to find ways to minimize the company’s impact on the environment. The program is one of PepsiCo’s longest-running initiatives and has been designed to inspire students to become “proud and frequent recyclers.”
PepsiCo products include the Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana brands and are consumed more than 1 billion times per day in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.