The Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will be the first region of investment under the Every Bottle Back initiative to increase the collection of 100 percent recyclable plastic bottles.
Launched in October 2019 by the American Beverage Association (ABA), Every Bottle Back is an unprecedented coalition that joins The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo with environmental and sustainability leaders World Wildlife Fund, Closed Loop Partners and The Recycling Partnership. Competitors in the beverage industry and environmental and sustainability advocates have come together to support the circular plastics economy by reinforcing to consumers the value of 100 percent recyclable plastic bottles and caps and ensuring they 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. This initiative seeks to reduce the use of new plastic by increasing the amount of valuable plastic bottles that are reclaimed, recycled and remade into new bottles. The effort includes partnering with local government and community leaders to help educate consumers on how to recycle better and decrease recycling contamination.
“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,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of ABA, in a statement. “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.”
Efforts in Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex will include partnerships with:
- The Balcones Material Recovery Facility (MRF), where Every Bottle Back will invest $2 million into the facility, enhancing it with state-of-the-art technology, such as optical sorters, machinery with artificial intelligence and robotic arms that separate recyclable plastics, along with new belt configurations to improve the processing of more recyclable materials. The enhancements support the ongoing and broader work to expand capacity and build the circular economy in the local area.
- Multifamily housing complexes in the Dallas Metroplex, where approximately 50,000 residents will benefit from expanded recycling access as a result of upgraded recycling collection vehicles; onsite and in-unit educational signage and outreach; and new containers, in-unit bins and totes for recycling. New services will be convenient with recycling picked up at residents’ front door.
- The city of Fort Worth, where cart-to-cart outreach and educational materials on how to recycle and cut down on contamination of recyclable materials will be available to residents in more than 232,000 homes.
- The North Central Texas Council of Governments, where a public service campaign called “Know What to Throw” will educate residents across 230 communities about how to decrease contamination of valuable recyclable materials, like polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and aluminum cans.
Overall, nearly $3 million will be invested in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex as part of the Every Bottle Back initiative including in infrastructure, MRF improvements, access and education to single-family and multifamily homes. These investments are expected to yield 3 million pounds of newly recovered PET plastic annually.
“This important effort will help ensure that modern recycling infrastructure exists to support curbside recycling in the Dallas-Fort Worth community,” said Carol McGarah of the Texas Beverage Association in a statement. “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.”
“Our efforts as part of the Every Bottle Back initiative in Texas will increase access to recycling and educate citizens about what is and isn’t recyclable. These are some of the solutions needed to put the U.S. recycling system on a more sustainable path,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership, in a statement. “We are ready to continue our work to distribute our proven educational tools that will help residents recycle correctly—putting recyclables empty and dry into the recycling bin. When recycled properly, those materials are kept out of the landfill and waterways, decreasing greenhouse gases and reducing the need to create more products out of virgin materials.”
“With support from The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo, we have the resources to make game-changing investments to optimize recycling in Dallas-Fort Worth,” said Ron Gonen, CEO of Closed Loop Partners, in a statement. “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.”
Nationally, the Every Bottle Back initiative will measure industry progress in reducing the use of new plastic, invest in key regions to improve the quality and availability of recycled plastic, launch a public awareness campaign to educate consumers and leverage packaging to remind consumers that bottles are 100 percent recyclable and can be remade into new bottles.