Most Beverage Companies Fail Recycling Scorecard

by | Dec 18, 2008

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as-you-sow-logo.jpgThough there was some progress from last year, most beverage companies continued to fail basic criteria for dealing with environmental implications of their packaging, according to the second annual Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report (pdf).

Coca-Cola came out on top due to its commitments and performance on beverage container source reduction, company-wide recovery goals, and investments in recycling programs. It has the highest percentage of recycled content in its aluminum cans and pledged to recover 50 percent of its plastic bottles and cans by 2015.

Anheuser Busch, PepsiCo, and Nestlé Waters North America followed in the ranking.

Below, the 2008 Scorecard:


PepsiCo uses the highest percentage use of recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) in its bottles (10%) – making it just one of two companies that consistently uses recycled PET.

Nestlé Waters North America, however, has set a goal of recycling 60 percent of PET bottles by 2018. The company showed the greatest greatest improvement since the 2006 report, introducing the Eco-Shape bottle, which uses the least packaging per unit of beverage for 0.5 litre containers (16.9 ounces).

The third largest marketer of soft drinks in the U.S., Dr. Pepper/Snapple (maker of 7-up and Canada Dry) do not have beverage container recycling goals or programs to boost container recycling rates, the report said. They were also the largest beverage firm that did not respond to As You Sow survey.

Despite some progress since its last report, most beverage companies continue to fail the organization’s five basic criteria for dealing with the environmental implications of their packaging:

  • Reduction of materials use
  • Increase recycled content in containers
  • Raising recovery and recycling rates
  • Supporting public policy initiatives to increase container recycling rates and disclosing such activities to stakeholders

Two trade groups, the Aluminum Association and the Glass Packaging Institute, recently set goals to increase their industry’s recycling rate to 75 percent by 2015 for used aluminum beverage cans and to up the percentage of recycled glass in new glass bottles and jars to at least 50 percent by 2013.

About the report: As You Sow surveyed 23 beverage companies that combined control 74 percent of the U.S. carbonated soft drink market, over 60 percent of the U.S. bottled water market, and almost 50 percent of the U.S. beer industry. It also gathered information from websites and corporate social responsibility reports.

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