Dallas-Fort Worth has been selected as the first location in the U.S. in a new $3 million initiative to help recycle plastic bottles.
Launched by the American Beverage Association — the ones manufacturing the plastic bottles in the first place — the initiative is called Every Bottle Back, and is being rolled out by a trio of beverage companies trying to put a pretty face on their plastic bottle disaster.
Arch rivals The Coca-Cola Co., Keurig Dr Pepper, and PepsiCo have united in a partnership whose goal is to encourage consumers to recycle plastic bottles and caps. According to a release, they'll do this by investing in collection, recycling, and processing systems in the DFW area.
The program is designed to increase the number of plastic bottles "that are reclaimed, recycled, and remade into new bottles."
That third part — "remade into new bottles" — is key. Recycling means nothing unless you have someone willing to take it off your hands. Will this initiative make new bottles from the recycled ones? Let's see.
The release says that their effort includes partnering with local government and community leaders to educate consumers on how to recycle better and decrease recycling contamination.
IE stop putting pizza boxes stained with melted cheese into your recycling bin.
The City of Fort Worth will disseminate educational materials on how to recycle and cut down on contamination of recyclable materials to residents in more than 232,000 homes.
IE more pizza box lectures.
A companion campaign by The North Central Texas Council of Governments called "Know What to Throw" will litter, I mean educate residents across 230 communities on how to decrease contamination of valuable recyclable materials. Again with the pizza boxes.
Still nothing so far about "remade into new bottles."
The release says that Every Bottle Back will invest $2 million to upgrade The Balcones Material Recovery Facility in Farmers Branch. They'll install optical sorters, machinery with artificial intelligence, and robotic arms that separate recyclable plastics.
Recycling is also being expanded to multifamily housing complexes in DFW, which represents approximately 50,000 residents.
Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership, one of the agencies helping the soda companies deploy this program, says in a statement that increasing access to recycling and educating citizens about what is and isn’t recyclable "are some of the solutions needed to put the U.S. recycling system on a more sustainable path."
It seems like the more sustainable path might be for her corporate partners to build some facilities to recycle the plastic bottles they are spewing across the planet. Instead, more pizza boxes.
"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," Harrison says. "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."