Beverage Industry Blocking Recycling Progress

CLF report details decades-long industry playbook

Plastic pollution

Plastic pollution. Photo: Pixabay

February 9, 2022 (BOSTON, MA) – Conservation Law Foundation’s (CLF) Zero Waste Project has released a new report detailing the beverage industry’s ongoing obstruction to improved bottle and can recycling programs. Opposition from these major corporations has resulted in increased litter, unnecessary landfill waste, and dangerous pollution in communities across the country.

“For decades, the beverage industry has done everything in its power to keep our failed recycling systems in place and prevent new solutions,” said Kirstie Pecci, Director of CLF’s Zero Waste Project. “Most bottles and cans in the U.S. still end up buried in landfills, burned in incinerators, or littering our communities. We must hold Big Beverage accountable for the mess it’s made and invest in real solutions for bottle and can recycling.” 

Big beverage companies, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé, are driving the global plastic pollution crisis with the single-use plastic containers in which they sell their products.

CLF’s report exposes the playbook these companies have been using to sabotage all attempts to improve recycling programs for years. The companies have blocked efforts to reform recycling programs across the country to avoid paying handling and disposal fees for the bottles their products are sold in. This has resulted in an explosion of polluting plastic production, and massive amounts of litter and landfill waste that could be reduced with improved recycling efforts.

The report offers a path forward to reform our recycling systems and hold these companies accountable, starting with improved bottle deposit programs.

CLF experts are available for further comment.