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CLIMATE ACTION PROGRAMME

17 December 2008

Most Beverage Companies Fail Recycling Scorecard

Coca-Cola's cans contain more recycled aluminum than its competitors, but the company uses less recycled plastic than Pepsi.Nestle Waters supports an ambitious beverage industry recycling goal, but its bottles have no recycled content.

Fiji Water has developed a comprehensive website about recycling and its goals, yet it has also developed the heaviest water bottle.It's a common theme in As You Sow's 2008 report on beverage container recycling in the U.S.: companies are making big strides in some areas, yet they all have a lot of room for improvement.

Non-profit As You Sow last surveyed U.S. beverage companies in 2006, developing a report that spurred Nestle Waters to become the first major beverage producer to support legislation that would increase recycling rates.

And just in October it became the first to support an industry-wide goal to recycle 60 percent of plastic bottles by 2018.

"Historically the beverage industry has lobbied against beverage container legislation," said Amy Galland, As You Sow's research director and the report's author.

As You Sow, though, recommends more companies support policies and voluntary actions that would bring recycling rates over 70 percent.

The nationwide recycling rate is 33 percent, though states with deposit legislation have rates above 70 percent."We would like to see the industry either work with legislators to create deposit legislation that will be mutually beneficial, or come together with an alternative method that can achieve that goal of 70 percent or more," Galland said.

Just prior to the report's release, the American Beverage Association announced it would be a founding member of The Climate Group's Recycle Together initiative, which will work with cities and states to increase recycling rates and develop best practices for recycling in communities.

Companies were evaluated in four categories: reduced use of virgin material, use of recycled content, support for and involvement in recovery and recycling programs and legislation, and communication of goals and achievements.

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Source: GreenBiz.com

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