Nestlé Waters North America number 1 for its Container recycling initiatives

October 12, 2011

This beverage company is the company that applies more efforts to promote Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR), but it is not the only one: several major U.S. beverage brands, like Coca-Cola or New Belgium will support new laws making producers financially responsible for collection and recycling of post consumer beverage packaging.

Shareholder advocacy group As You Sow published their third scorecard and report on beverage container recycling since 2006. This research evaluates new and ongoing efforts by beverage producers to reduce source materials, create recyclable product packaging and increase container recovery rates. Nestlé Waters North America received the highest ranking, followed closely by PepsiCo, The Coca‐Cola Company, and Red Bull. All these four companies received the same score: a letter B.

"Waste & Opportunity 2011", report’s name, is based primarily on responses to As You Sow’s Beverage Container Recycling Survey. Forty five companies, including beverage companies, grocery manufacturers with private label beverage brands, fast food restaurant chains and packaged food companies, received the Survey and this means twice the number of companies that in 2008. Those who did not respond were scored based on publicly available information.

Annually, 224 billion beverage containers are sold in the U.S., but only 29% (by weight) are recycled; the other 71% are landfilled or incinerated, which signifies a huge waste of natural resources. In Europe and Canada, where EPR laws are in place, far higher amounts of containers are recovered.

Nestlé Waters obtained the highest rate on container recovery because it showed better recovery goals and stated tactical strategies for attaining them than its peers and that, along with PepsiCo and Red Bull, has stated industry‐wide recovery goals.

Conrad MacKerron, Senior Director of As You Sow’s Corporate Social Responsibility Program said that “The major development since our last survey has been the willingness of leading beverage companies to consider new legislative mandates requiring them to take responsibility for their post‐consumer packaging”. And continued: “Many beverage and consumer packaged goods companies pay fees in other countries to finance recovery of their packaging. It’s significant that companies are finally acknowledging the need to take responsibility in the U.S. as well.”

So, after reading this study and listening to MacKerron’s words, it is very clear that major beverage companies are willing to take action and respond conveniently to a current challenge all around the world: environmental sustainability.

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