Today is America Recycles Day, a national initiative of Keep America Beautiful, an organization Coca-Cola has long supported. The nationally recognized day is dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States. 

The Coca-Cola Company and The Coca-Cola Foundation are dedicated to supporting community recycling initiatives that help increase recovery of packaging and other recyclables in communities nationwide and have collectively contributed more than $12 million since 2012. Through innovative partnerships we are collaborating with businesses and organizations to help lead the way to effective recycling solutions that reduce waste going to landfills and support communities.  Here is a look at some of our partnership activities:

The Closed Loop Fund

The Closed Loop Fund invests in recycling efforts nationwide. Focusing on communities down to the individual level, this organization is making large strides in strengthening the country's recycling infrastructure. The Closed Loop Fund was started by Walmart to bring together other companies to find solutions towards more sustainable recycling systems. The Closed Loop Fund is providing low-interest loans to communities and businesses to support recycling efforts as they strive toward their goal of investing $100 million in recycling infrastructure throughout the United States.

Keep America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful (KAB) is focused on inspiring people across the nation to take action on litter by promoting recycling and by making it easier and convenient. Through the semi-annual Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Bin Grant Program, KAB and The Coca-Cola Foundation are working together to make recycling bins more readily available by providing grants for recycling bins in public spaces.  Over the 10-year history of the program, nearly 50,000 recycling bins have been awarded, including 36,000 specifically for public space locations, providing opportunities for recycling on-the-go to 2.1 million people on a daily basis. The more than 930 grant programs that have been awarded in all 50 states and the District of Columbia have collected an estimated 21 million pounds of containers and other recyclables during this time.

The Recycling Partnership

The Recycling Partnership is a public-private partnership designed to accelerate growth in curbside recycling by increasing access to recycling carts and education. Over the past two years, the organization has invested more than $21 million to curb refuse. These funds have gone towards 390,000 recycling carts, education for 10 million households and support of 150 community partners. Their efforts are paying off with over 35,000 tons annually of recyclables collected.

You, Too, Can Make This Happen

There are multiple ways you can help divert waste from landfills and reduce your environmental footprint. Approximately 99 percent of Coca-Cola’s packaging is recyclable – that includes bottles, cans and cardboard packaging. Many other household items are also recyclable, so please be sure to recycle your bottles, cans, cardboard, paper and other recyclables! The Environmental Protection Agency provides more information on how you can support recycling here: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/how-do-i-recycle-common-recyclables.

Three easy things you can do to support recycling are:

  1. Recycle where you live, work and play! And remember recyclables are not just in your kitchen. Recycle your bottles, cans and paper throughout your house.
  2. Check your local services for the proper disposal of things that don’t belong in mixed recycling processing lines. Clothing, wires, plastic wrap, needles and bulky metals are dangerous for workers but have non-curbside options for handling.
  3. Spread the word! Share a recycling photo at work or home with #WeRecycle.

From educating to motivating, partnerships such as The Closed Loop Fund, The Recycling Partnership, and Keep America Beautiful are helping to support and encourage communities to recycle more. Thank you for recycling!

Major Rick Galeano is an active duty member of the U.S. Army assigned as a Fellow with the Training With Industry (TWI) Program with duty at The Coca-Cola Company. The views and opinions of this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Coca-Cola Company or the United States Army.