All beverage bottles and cans collected inside the host arenas of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours in New Orleans and Minneapolis, respectively, will be recycled and repurposed into new beverage packaging thanks to a partnership between Coca‑Cola North America and Circular Solutions Advisors.
Circular Solutions helps companies and venues create a circular economy where all beverage packages get recycled and become new bottles and cans. Tens of thousands of fans who attend the national championship events at Caesars Superdome in New Orleans and Target Center in Minneapolis will be encouraged to deposit bottles and cans into single-stream recycling bins. From there, Republic Services' Recycling Center (Minneapolis) and Waste Connections (New Orleans) will transport the packaging to material recovery facilities (MRF) to be sorted and ultimately sent to PET reclaimers (PET bottles) or aluminum smelters (cans). Here, they will be processed and returned as food-grade packaging to the beverage supply chain to become bottles and cans once again. This includes local bottlers Coca‑Cola UNITED and Reyes Coca‑Cola Bottling. Circular Solutions manages the entire process.
“We are essentially creating two closed-loop events by bringing to life our World Without Waste vision to create a circular economy by ensuring all of our beverage packaging materials can be used again and again,” said Alex Nicolaou, Senior Manager Sustainability, Customer Stewardship, Coca‑Cola North America.
The Final Four activation will include strategically placed recycling bins throughout both arenas and at all host city fan experiences, as well as prominent signage promoting the “Recycle and Re-enjoy” campaign, which shows how one bottle from The Coca‑Cola Company’s portfolio can become another through recycling. Additionally, Coca‑Cola Green Teams will help collect recyclables and educate spectators about recycling. Fans who are “Caught Green Handed” and seen recycling properly within the stadiums will win prizes. These initiatives have been successful elements of Coke-led recycling campaigns on college and university campuses across the country.
“We’re thrilled to partner with our bottlers, customers and consumers to bring this closed-loop activation to life for the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours,” said Christina Ruggiero, President, North America Operations – Central Zone, Coca‑Cola North America. “Collective action is fundamental to scaling solutions and critical to achieving a circular economy.”
Coca‑Cola Consolidated and Circular Solutions executed a similar closed-loop activation at the 2021 NCAA Men’s Final Four in Indianapolis, but capacity was limited due to COVID-19.
World Without Waste is The Coca‑Cola Company’s ambitious vision to collect and recycle a bottle or can—regardless of where it comes from—for every one it sells by 2030. Learn more.