Coca-Cola Pledges $5.4 Million in Recycling Grants

To meet big goals, Coca-Cola needs to “fix” recycling infrastructure and processes.

March 18, 2019

ATLANTA – The Coca-Cola Foundation is pledging $5.4 million in recycling grants to “help fix recycling infrastructure in the United States,” according to CNN Business.

The news comes after the company announced its “World Without Waste” initiative, setting a goal to collect and recycle the equivalent of every bottle or can it sells by 2030, alongside an effort to making its bottles and cans out of at least 50% recycled material in the next 11 years.

To fulfill its earlier promises, Coca-Cola needs to revamp how recycling systems in the U.S. currently operate. Enter the $5.4 million in grants.

About $4.15 million will go to the Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit that helps develop recycling infrastructure, to help the city of Atlanta. Food Dive reports that the goals of this three-year education program will aim to reduce contamination by more than 25% and increase capture rates by 20% across 100,000 households.

Other grant awardees are Keep Houston Beautiful, the Boston Parks and Recreation Foundation and GreenBlue in Orlando. 

Bruce Karas, vice president of environment and sustainability for Coca-Cola North America, told CNN that “the fragmented approach—doling out funds to different groups supporting individual cities—is the most effective way for Coca-Cola to help improve recycling.”

"If you take recycling and waste and say, well it's a national issue, you're never going to solve it," he said. "It's a local issue." Coca-Cola will learn from its Atlanta programming and apply what does and doesn’t works to other locations to reach its goals.