What We Do
While we work hard to produce beverages that consumers enjoy, we also care about the environment and what happens to those beverage containers over the long run.
To help improve the environment, we produce packaging that is 100 percent recyclable. We also have reduced the amount of packaging used to deliver beverages and encouraged consumers to become active recyclers, but we recognize that there is still more work to be done.
Recycling is a key component of our environmental mission and an important part of our business and our lives.
How We Support Recycling Efforts
The beverage industry’s bottles and cans are among the most recycled consumer packaging in the U.S. We work hard to package our products with materials that are widely accepted in recycling programs and are designed to be recycled with other, similar materials. We also have a commitment to helping with recycling efforts around the country – a commitment we have had for many years. And we are always looking for ways to do more.
Last October, the American Beverage Association became a founding member in the National Recycling Partnership (NRP), created to reinvigorate recycling in America. This historic partnership—which includes the National Recycling Coalition—aims to increase consumer interest in recycling by providing information on what, how and why to recycle.
A top priority for the National Recycling Partnership is the development of consumer-friendly recycling icons as well as accurate and standardized recycling terminology for use in product labeling and advertising.
Get the Facts on the Beverage Industry and Recycling
- 51.9 billion – number of aluminum cans recovered in 2006. Roughly two-thirds of the cans were soft drink cans containing sodas, teas and juices.
- 15 million barrels of oil – roughly the U.S. energy savings from aluminum can recycling in 2006.
- 51.6 percent – the aluminum can recycling rate in 2006.
- 32.41- number of cans made per pound of aluminum in 2006.
- 23.1 percent – overall 2005 polyethyl terephthalate (PET) bottle recycling rate, which is an increase from 2004 figures. PET is the most commonly used plastic bottle.
- 1.17 billion pounds – total PET bottles recovered for recycling topped this figure for the first time ever in 2005.
- 50 percent of recovered PET bottles were used for fiber, such as carpet backing and clothing in 2005.
- Beverage packaging of all types represent about 5.7 percent of the total weight and volume of municipal solid waste (MSW or trash) produced in the U.S. each year.
- 1.9 percent – percentage of the total U.S. waste stream represented by ABA member companies’ beverage containers.
- 73 percent of scrap revenue- although beverage containers account for less than 20 percent of materials collected in most curbside programs, they generate up to 73 percent of total scrap revenue earned by communities.
- 7.4 percent – amount of beverage container roadside litter, according to Northbridge Environmental Group. The biggest contributor to litter in the U.S. is miscellaneous paper and plastic, making up 29.8 percent of the total.