Gwinnett households are eligible for free, large-capacity recycling carts from the county. To date, more than 52,000 households have requested them, but there are still 145,000 households that have not. We believe that confusion for consumers and minimal access are main reasons why our communities do not have higher recycling rates. Through Every Bottle Back, Gwinnett County is looking to raise those rates with expanded, equitable access to recycling and residential education about what can and cannot be recycled in our local recycling program.
Every Bottle Back is an integrated and comprehensive effort, spearheaded by Atlanta-based The Coca-Cola Co., along with Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo, to reduce the industry’s use of new plastic by partnering with environmental and sustainability champions at The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund and Closed Loop Partners to invest in local communities and make consumer recycling easier and more accessible.
The goal of this effort is to get every one of our 100% recyclable beverage bottles back so that they can be remade into new bottles, as intended. In supporting Gwinnett County’s recycling program, we’ll keep our beverage containers out of the environment and landfills where they should never be in the first place.
As more of our bottles are collected and remade, we will also be able to use less plastic, helping us achieve true plastics circularity and reduce the industry’s plastic footprint.
It is estimated that Gwinnett County will collect over 1.3 million new pounds of recycled PET over 10 years because of this endeavor. In total, this investment in Georgia will yield an estimated 27.3 million new pounds of all recyclables over a 10-year span.
We’re excited to work alongside our neighbors and local partners to achieve a true circular economy. We look forward to building unity in Georgia around this initiative so that we can improve our environment and reduce our use of new plastic for generations to come.
Kevin Perry is the president and chief executive officer of the Georgia Beverage Association. To learn more about the Every Bottle Back initiative, visit www.EveryBottleBack.org.