Smirnoff to launch glass bottle collection drive in Chicago

With the Glass Packaging Institute and GlassKing Recovery & Recycling, Smirnoff plans to work with local bars and restaurants to recover as much glass as possible in the Chicago area.

Glass bottles
Smirnoff plans to work with its partners to collect as much glass as possible from Chicago restaurants and bars.
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Following World Cleanup Day on Sept. 17, Smirnoff, a brand of New York City-based Diageo North America, has announced it will undertake a mission to develop more sustainable packaging and systems by 2030.

Smirnoff is heading to Chicago to partner on an initiative to collect used glass the company will recycle to create new bottles for its products. Through its partnership with the Don’t Trash Glass (DTG) campaign, a combined effort with the Glass Packaging Institute, Berkely Springs, West Virginia, and GlassKing Recovery & Recycling, Phoenix, Smirnoff will support the campaign’s effort to work with more than 300 Chicago bars, restaurants and local businesses to gather used and discarded glass bottles, increasing the total available recycled glass in the area.

“This partnership with Smirnoff helps support educational and relationship-building opportunities with local restaurants and bars so they can be at the forefront of glass recycling,” Glass Packaging Institute President Scott DeFife says. “Encouraging these businesses to be influencers within the glass recycling process will have long-lasting effects, not only on our environment but also on the glass manufacturing and supply chain process.”

In partnership with Smirnoff, DTG will scour the Chicago area to collect ready-to-recycle glass bottles that will be processed by Smirnoff’s glass partners and transported to the Smirnoff packaging plant in Plainfield, Illinois, where the company will fill and deliver them to communities nationwide.

“We take our commitment to a more sustainable future very seriously,” Diageo Chief Marketing & Innovation Officer Ed Pilkington says. “Smirnoff is packaged and bottled in Plainfield, so it was important we started this movement right here in our backyard. When it comes to the environment, the way we can all help the planet is by doing our part to better our communities, and Chicago is just the beginning for Smirnoff.” 

With DTG, Smirnoff will lead the charge to educate bartenders, staff, employees, custodians and others who deal directly with waste management to encourage them to adopt more sustainable practices.

“This initiative is a good indicator of the need for systems to be put in place, not just in Chicago, but around the country to create a more circular economy for glass,” GlassKing Recovery & Recycling Chief Operating Officer Rose King says. “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Smirnoff on this initiative, a brand that clearly values sustainable practices and bettering our communities for future generations.”

Improving circularity and reducing waste are priorities for Smirnoff and Diageo. Beginning with work on reuse and refill projects, the efforts from the DTG initiative will contribute to the company’s commitment to reimagine packaging and become sustainable by design—a key pillar of Diageo’s approach to sustainability outlined in its 10-year action plan, Society 2030: Spirit of Progress.

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