PepsiCo Foundation’s Fat Funding To Boost Recycling Rates, Close the Gap

by | Aug 27, 2018

Pepsi’s philanthropic arm the PepsiCo Foundation has teamed with national nonprofit The Recycling Partnership on what it calls the “largest ever industry-wide residential recycling challenge,” designed to make recycling easier for 25 million families across the country and to reduce the recycling gap.

The PepsiCo Foundation is providing $10 million in funding to jumpstart All In on Recycling. The goal of the challenge is to raise $25 million in total donations from leading businesses, companies, and organizations. In addition to contributions from other corporations, the more than 2,800 communities that participate in the initiative are expected to triple the collective investment, catalyzing roughly $75 million in municipal funding, and bringing the total amount of support to $100 million.

Currently, due to lack of infrastructure, widely varying municipal recycling programs, and low awareness of proper recycling practices, more than half of the material that could be recycled from US households is lost. However, the problem is not due to lack of desire: 94% of Americans want to recycle more, and would, with easily accessible recycling containers and clear information about proper recycling practices, according to the groups.

The Recycling Partnership estimates the challenge will help the US capture 1.9 million tons of quality recyclable materials over the next five years, including 7 billion bottles and cans. This would result in a total greenhouse gas avoidance of 5.5 million tons of CO2.

Half of the total funds raised by this challenge are expected to help provide curbside carts to more than 550,000 households. Funds will also be used to provide the missing infrastructure needed to recover recyclables from multi-family homes such as apartment buildings and condos, which is one of the most challenging segments of the population to serve. The other half of the funding will support recycling education and operational programs that will increase collection of recyclables while reducing contamination.

This residential recycling initiative is part of PepsiCo’s sustainability program, Performance with a Purpose. By 2025, PepsiCo’s goal is to design 100% of their packaging to be recyclable, compostable or, biodegradable; increase recycled materials in its plastic packaging; reduce packaging’s carbon impact; and, in partnership with the PepsiCo Foundation, work to increase recycling rates.

For more about PepsiCo’s sustainability initiatives, see Environmental Leader’s recent Q&A with Margaret Henry, director of sustainable agriculture at PepsiCo.

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