International Bottled Water Association | News Release | November 15, 2021
IBWA Encourages Consumers to Recycle Right on America Recycles Day
Alexandria, VA – On America Recycles Day (and every day), the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is encouraging Americans to “recycle right,” by following local guidance to ensure they know what their municipal programs can—or can’t—recycle.
IBWA is a proud sponsor of America Recycles Day, an annual Keep America Beautiful (KAB) program held on November 15 each year, that promotes and celebrates recycling in the United States.
“It is becoming increasingly important that consumers recognize the value and importance of recycling, and that they learn what should – and shouldn’t – go in a recycle bin,” says IBWA Vice President of Communications Jill Culora. “Taking the America Recycles Day #BeRecycled pledge is a way to show your commitment to keeping your community beautiful by actively recycling and asking your friends and relatives to recycle, too. Doing your part to recycle one bottle at a time may seem like a small effort, but it adds up to make a big impact!”
“Packaging recyclability varies by product, but consumers can be confident that plastic bottled water containers are 100 percent recyclable (including the cap), and bottled water bottles are among the few items that are always accepted by municipal recycling programs,” says Culora.
“Bottled water containers are both the most recognized by consumers as being recyclable and the most recycled beverage containers in the world.”
Empty bottled water containers should always be placed in a recycle bin or returned at a redemption center. Plastic bottled water containers, whether they’re made from polyethylene terephthalate (PET) or high-density polyethylene (HDPE), are highly valuable to recyclers and other companies. The recycled content material derived from these highly sought-after containers can be made into new bottles. Bottled water companies seek to use recycled PET (rPET) and recycled HDPE (rHDPE) to create new bottled water containers, as many companies are trying to make their products more sustainable. But these goals can’t be met if the supply isn’t there, and that’s how consumers can help.
“Making new bottles from old ones can have a significant impact in lowering the use of virgin content,” says Culora, “but these rPET and rHDPE bottles can’t be produced unless consumers help improve recycling rates.”
America Recycles Day is a national program dedicated to consumer education regarding the need to recycle and recycle properly within the Keep America Beautiful Communities™ Initiative. KAB is taking action to clean and green America by 2025. The nonprofit is one of many partner organizations IBWA works with to help improve recycling rates across the U.S. and globally.
KAB’s “Recycle Your Bottles Like Everyone’s Watching,” video encourages people take that extra step and recycle—even if that means you have to hold on to your bottled water containers and recycle them at home. The lighthearted, 30-second video shows two squirrels, Stacy and Tracy, watching people decide what to do with their empty plastic bottles and encouraging them to recycle.
IBWA’s #PutItInTheBin campaign is another great resource for educational tools that promote pro-recycling images and messaging. IBWA and its partner organizations share the #PutItInTheBin posts (available at putitinthebin.org) because they recognize the need to increase recycling rates across the country.
“#PutItInTheBin is an excellent educational resource for recycling information,” says Culora. “Our series of ‘Can You Recycle This?’ images, which provide examples of products that can and can’t be recycled, is one of the many initiatives within the campaign that consumers would benefit greatly from.”
In addition to partnering with KAB, IBWA is active in helping to improve curbside recycling bin access through its involvement with The Recycling Partnership, a national recycling nonprofit organization comprised of industries and municipalities. Together, our goal is to make a measurable impact on recycling in the United States.
For more information about bottled water, visit www.bottledwater.org.
The International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) is the authoritative source of information about all types of bottled waters, including spring, mineral, purified, artesian, and sparkling. Founded in 1958, IBWA’s membership includes U.S. and international bottlers, distributors and suppliers. IBWA is committed to working with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which regulates bottled water as a packaged food product, to set comprehensive and stringent standards for safe, high-quality bottled water products.
In addition to FDA regulations, IBWA member bottlers must adhere to the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice, which mandates additional standards and practices that in some cases are more stringent than federal and state regulations. A key feature of the IBWA Bottled Water Code of Practice is a mandatory annual plant inspection by an independent, third-party organization.