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Amcor joins Coke, Ball, and Sonoco in packaging recycling group

By Jenni Spinner+

28-Jul-2014

Amcor Rigid Plastics is joining Coke, Ball, Sonoco, and other organizations in The Recycling Partnership to increase US recycling rates.
Amcor Rigid Plastics is joining Coke, Ball, Sonoco, and other organizations in The Recycling Partnership to increase US recycling rates.

The packaging giant has signed onto The Recycling Partnership, a group of food, beverage, and package firms dedicated to increase US recycling rates.

Amcor Rigid Plastics is the latest packaging player to sign onto The Recycling Partnership.

The collaborative group—composed of brands like Coca-Cola, packaging producers such as Ball, and other large firms—is  on a mission to increase residential recycling in the US.

Sustainability goals

Charlie Schwarze, global sustainability manager for Amcor Rigid Plastics, told FoodProductionDaily the company’s involvement in The Recycling Partnership demonstrates the depth of its commitment to corporate responsibility.

Our investment in The Recycling Partnership marries these two missions: community and responsible packaging,” he said. “Amcor’s involvement in a structured, multi-stakeholder group focused on recycling will ignite communities with education while providing real economic and environmental benefits.”

Mike Schmitt, president of Amcor Rigid Plastics, said the company considers sustainability a core company value, and joining the group is a way to further the company’s goals.

This program brings together all parts of the packaging value chain and has the ability to rapidly scale recycling efforts across the nation,” he said. “Product stewardship is a key focus area within Amcor’s sustainability strategy and we see investment in the Recycling Partnership as one way for us to enable higher recycling rates in the US.”

Recycling push

Amcor (one of the largest plastic packaging producers on the planet) is joining Ball, Coca-Cola, Sonoco, Alcoa, American Chemistry Council, American Forest and Paper Association, the Association of Postconsumer Plastic Recyclers, the Carton Council, and the Society of the Plastics Industry. Keefe Harrison, director of Recycling Partnership producers Curbside Value Partnership, said Amcor’s decision to come on board is good news for the organization.

We continue to gain steam with the addition of Amcor,” he said. “We are very pleased to gain their experienced voice to the growing group of recycling partners.”

The Recycling Partnership is getting the ball rolling by connecting with partner cities for the first round of the project. The group will work with those municipalities to provide technical and financial assistance to build up recycling access for households, gaining support from local and state officials, coordinate with regional recycling forces, and developing education and outreach efforts.

Packaging progress

The US Environmental Protection Agency reports the country is making great strides in recycling food and beverage packaging. However, statistics show there is yet room for progress in recovering materials used in packaging.

The most recycled item in the municipal solid waste stream is lead-acid batteries (frequently used in cars), recycled at nearly 96%. About 71% of steel cans are recycled, 55% of aluminum cans, 34% of glass containers, and PET containers only at about 31%.

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