WASHINGTON, D.C. – America’s non-alcoholic beverage industry celebrates Earth Day – today and every day – through its cutting-edge sustainability practices and ongoing efforts to reduce their environmental impact.

“Our industry cares deeply about its impact on the environment, and the collective efforts of our member companies reflect the priority and longstanding commitment it has to protecting and preserving it,” said Susan Neely, ABA president and CEO. “Through state-of-the-art innovation, our member companies are leading the way on best practices that help ensure the long-term health of our planet.”

The non-alcoholic beverage industry’s environmental initiatives are many and varied, and include:

Cutting down on energy and materials usage by making product packaging lighter, and reusing transportation packaging, Reducing water usage by incorporating state-of-the-art wastewater treatment and the reuse of process water from manufacturing and distribution facilities, Minimizing energy usage and fleet emissions by employing hybrid trucks and relying on highly efficient, centralized production and distribution systems for products Using ‘green’ technology – such as solar roofing – at bottling plants, and Saving energy usage through high efficiency refrigeration technology.

Importantly, member companies produce 100 percent recyclable packaging that is among the most recycled consumer products in the world.  One of the most visible ways the non-alcoholic beverage industry leads on environmental sustainability is through its effort to recover that packaging through its model recycling collection programs for consumers when they are both at home and on-the-go.  At the same time, industry has a strong record of supporting local public policy to implement or expand recycling systems that address all recyclables.  Recognizing that towns and cities may have different environmental priorities, industry has worked as a partner on a range of initiatives, including:

Massachusetts – Recycling Challenge Partnering with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, ABA is providing technical assistance to local communities in the state to help them implement a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) waste system.  This program in currently underway and is expected to be completed early next year. PAYT offers an immediate and significant incentive to households that reduce trash and increase recycling by charging residents a fee for each unit of waste they discard instead of a fixed fee per household. Florida – Public Space Recycling ABA launched a new effort in Palm Beach County to help residents and visitors to recycle empty beverage containers while away from home by placing nearly 130 recycling bins in key locations, including parks, boardwalks, sports fields and beaches. This effort reduced public space litter by 75 percent and resulted in significantly increased recycling rates. Tennessee – “Do Your Part with the Cart” ABA funded the delivery of 20,000 recycling carts to Knoxville residences that received weekly curbside pick-up in conjunction with garbage pick-up at no additional charge. This initiative increased recycling participation to 85 percent – a 60 percent increase. Connecticut – “Go Green Use Blue” Working with elected officials in Hartford, industry helped lead an effort that resulted in the implementation of a citywide, single-stream recycling program. Research compiled by the Connecticut Resource Recovery Authority shows that this initiative has seen six consecutive years of increased recycling.  The most recent available data for 2012 notes that nearly 92,000 tons were recycled – doubling recycling rates and saving more than $6 million in trash fees.

For more information on the beverage industry’s environmental leadership, visit www.ameribev.org.

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The American Beverage Association is the trade association representing the broad spectrum of companies that manufacture and distribute non-alcoholic beverages in the United States.  For more information on ABA, please visit the association’s website at www.ameribev.org or call the ABA communications team at (202) 463-6770.