Environmental Protection

Nestle Provides Funds to KAB for PET Waste

Consumers increasingly reach for packaged beverages to keep them hydrated while on-the-go. In communities across the country, however, recycling solutions for these packaged items are often inadequate and inconvenient, and according to the National Association for PET Container Resources, less than 24 percent of plastic beverage bottles were recycled in 2007.

To encourage and empower local communities to make away-from-home recycling more convenient, Nestle Waters North America has teamed up with Keep America Beautiful to provide $10,000 "Recycle On The Go" grants to 12 Keep America Beautiful (KAB) affiliates.

KAB is the nation's largest volunteer-based community action and education organization focused on litter prevention, waste reduction, and beautification. Through public-private partnerships, KAB aims to engage individuals to take greater responsibility for improving their community's environment.

More than 55 affiliates applied for the grants, which required the organizations to propose creative, comprehensive, and sustainable concepts for public venue recycling of plastic beverage bottles. Each project will tackle public space recycling in an innovative way, from focusing on education, to infrastructure, to grassroots volunteer efforts.

"These 'Recycle On The Go' grants are a step toward improving our country's recycling rates and our environment," said Kim Jeffery, president and chief executive officer of Nestle Waters North America, which has committed to working with others to more than double current plastic beverage bottle recycling rates to 60 percent by 2018.

Winning affiliates and concepts include:

  • Keep Blackstone Valley Beautiful (Rhode Island): This local affiliate will purchase 20 recycling bins, create bilingual signage, and work with area community groups to educate about recycling. The affiliate also will collaborate with the Central Falls Public Works Department to measure collected items, helping the organization to track progress against its goal of a 35 percent recycling rate.
  • Keep Council Bluffs Beautiful (Iowa): The grant will allow the Council Bluffs affiliate to introduce recycling to the Council Bluffs Recreation Complex, an 8,000 seat arena and convention center used for sports games, concerts, trade shows, banquets, and other events, and visited by more than 300,000 people each year. For the first time, recycling containers will be placed next to every trash bin in the facility.
  • Keep Santa Fe Beautiful (New Mexico): This affiliate will use the grant to purchase recycling bins for all 10 public parks in Santa Fe, which are used for sporting events, festivals, and recreation. The grant will also supplement the agency's ongoing community recycling education efforts, which include speaking engagements at area schools and community posters and e-flyers.

Information on these affiliates and the other nine grant recipients is available at http://kab.org/recycleonthego.

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