Michigan Receives More Than $1.5 Million in Recycling Investments from Beverage Industry's Every Bottle Back Initiative

Posted Apr. 21, 2023

Investment announcement follows “Recycling State of the State” address, highlights public-private partnerships between the Michigan Soft Drink Association and local and state officials

LANSING, Mich. – American Beverage and the Michigan Soft Drink Association announced through the Every Bottle Back initiative that nine communities across Michigan have received more than $1.5 million in investments to improve recycling infrastructure, enhance recycling programs and increase consumer education. This announcement follows the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) “Recycling State of the State” address, which reported the total amount of residential recycled materials increased in fiscal year 2022. 

Over the last two years, these nine investments have been the result of public-private partnerships with local municipalities, preeminent environmental and sustainability leaders and Michigan EGLE. Investment from the beverage industry helped leverage an additional $7 million in community and state matching funds as part of Every Bottle Back. Collectively, these investments are projected to yield more than 10 million new pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) over the next decade.

“The Michigan Soft Drink Association is taking action to improve our state’s recycling rates,” said Derek Bajema, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of Michigan Soft Drink Association. “By investing in new infrastructure, enhancing our current recycling systems and helping to educate consumers about best recycling practices, we are creating a cleaner environment and a more circular economy. Michigan’s soft drink producers and distributors strive to be leaders in sustainability, and these investments are helping us achieve this goal.”

“Recycling in Michigan is making real progress because of shared investments by local and state government working closely with organizations and initiatives like Every Bottle Back,” said Matt Flechter, recycling market development specialist with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE). “A circular economy is being achieved because of partnerships like these.” 

“Every Bottle Back is making a real difference across Michigan. It is exactly the type of initiative that’s needed to bridge the gap and make recycling affordable and efficient for Michigan communities,” said Kerrin O’ Brien, executive director of the Michigan Recycling Coalition.

"Michigan is an excellent example of how public-private partnerships can make systematic, scalable recycling improvements at a statewide level," said Jill Martin, director of community programs at The Recycling Partnership. "The Recycling Partnership is excited to continue this work and collaboration bringing access and recycling education to Michigan residents."

Since 2020, the Every Bottle Back initiative has invested in the following Michigan communities to improve collection infrastructure and bring upgraded recycling programs to residents:

  • Ann Arbor, which received $800,000 in November 2020 to help rebuild and reopen the city’s Materials Recovery Facility to better sort and process recyclables.
  • Ypsilanti Township, which received $243,000 in October 2022 for new recycling carts and curbside collection service to help ensure the beverage industry’s bottles, which are carefully designed to be 100% recyclable, can be remade.
  • Bay City, which received $240,000 in December 2022 for new recycling carts to transform the community from bin-based recyclable collections to modernized cart-based collections.
  • Trenton, which received $106,400 in May 2022 for new recycling carts and single-stream collection service, so residents no longer need to sort recyclable items.
  • Marquette City, which received $99,200 in September 2022 to provide residents with new, high-capacity recycling carts to increase the collection of recyclable materials.
  • Ishpeming, Marquette, and Negaunee Townships, which received $68,800 total in April 2021 for new, high-capacity recycling carts and for direct-to-consumer outreach about best recycling practices.
  • Michigamme Township, which received $8,800 in May 2022 for new recycling carts that allowed the township to start a new curbside collection service.