Increasingly, it seems like it’s supporting expanding bottle deposit programs. But big beverage companies want any solution but that.
In 2010, Pepsi set a goal: The company wanted to help raise the recycling rate for drink containers in the U.S. from around 38% to 50%. The company and PepsiCo Foundation spent $55 million on recycling efforts, from the Dream Machine–a kiosk that with rewards for recycled bottles–to support for the Closed Loop Fund, which helps cities implement curbside recycling. But the most recent numbers for the U.S. beverage container recycling rate show that it has dropped slightly rather than grown.
Pepsi is now spending $10 million to seed a new program to help build out recycling infrastructure in the U.S., with a goal of raising a total of $100 million for the effort. But while the infrastructure is needed–right now, about a quarter of American households don’t have access to curbside recycling, and even some of those who do have to opt-in or subscribe to use it–recycling advocates say that the work may not be enough to make more people recycle.