Closed Loop Partners and Every Bottle Back Invest $5 Million in Evergreen to Expand Bottle-to-Bottle Plastics Recycling
August 12, 2021
The collective investment from America’s leading beverage companies and Closed Loop Partners will fund a major expansion in Evergreen’s Clyde, Ohio materials recovery and manufacturing facility
CLYDE, Ohio – The American Beverage Association and the Ohio Beverage Association, in partnership with Closed Loop Partners, announced today that Evergreen, a plastics reclaimer and rPET manufacturing facility based in Clyde, Ohio, will be the next recipient of a significant investment under the beverage industry’s Every Bottle Back initiative.
The $5 million investment – half from the American Beverage Association in partnership with Closed Loop Partners and the other half from Closed Loop Partners’ Infrastructure Fund – is part of Evergreen’s $22 million expansion project that will grow operations and double production capacity by 2022. This investment helps Evergreen evolve its business model, expanding its services to process recycled PET plastic into food-grade recycled rPET pellets used to manufacture new bottles, while creating a strong local market for recycled plastics.
The expansion project is estimated to yield at least 58 million pounds of food-grade PET in its first year alone, and cumulatively at least 600 million pounds of rPET food-grade pellets over a 10-year period.
“We are excited to support Evergreen’s expansion, which will help Ohio’s beverage companies close the loop on its 100% recyclable beverage containers,” said Kimberly McConville, executive director of the Ohio Beverage Association. “This is the second Every Bottle Back investment in Ohio, building on our industry’s commitment to strengthen recycling infrastructure, increase the collection of our plastic bottles and work towards using more recycled content.”
Spearheaded by the American Beverage Association, Every Bottle Back is a groundbreaking initiative by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo to reduce the beverage industry’s plastic footprint by getting back more of the industry’s recyclable plastic bottles to be remade into new bottles, as intended. This latest investment will help finance a new building at Evergreen’s Clyde plant, where recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) will be processed and ground into pellets to be used for making new plastic bottles and other consumer goods.
“Through our partnership with Evergreen and Closed Loop Partners, this project – along with several others throughout the region and country – will help capture and process more of our valuable, 100% recyclable plastic bottles so they can be remade into new bottles,” said Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association. “This project is another example of the power of private-public partnerships created through Every Bottle Back to build a circular economy for plastic and keep it out of the environment.”
“To build a truly circular economy and meet the demand for food-grade recycled content, bottle-to-bottle recycling is critical,” says Ron Gonen, Founder & CEO of Closed Loop Partners. “This investment in Evergreen helps strengthen the market for recycled plastics and inspire other local markets and states to participate in building a waste-free future. Together, Evergreen and the American Beverage Association have pooled key resources to make this project a priority, underscoring the importance of working across the public and private sectors to reduce the use of new plastic and protect the planet for future generations.”
“Evergreen is pleased to partner with the Ohio Beverage Association and Closed Loop Partners to expand our Clyde recycling and manufacturing facility and accommodate the heightened demand for rPET,” said Omar Abuaita, CEO of Greenbridge, the parent company of Evergreen. “This expansion project will double our manufacturing capacity of food-grade rPET and create new jobs while building on our company’s commitment to recycling, sustainability and closed loop solutions.”
This investment to expand Evergreen is the 10th of 13 initial projects that the beverage industry has committed to fund under Every Bottle Back, including recent investments in: Central Ohio; Marquette, Mich.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Kenosha, Wis. These investments total $10.6 million in committed funding and will yield an estimated 647 million more pounds of PET over 10 years.
About the American Beverage Associations’ Every Bottle Back initiative
The Every Bottle Back initiative is an integrated and comprehensive initiative by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo, alongside sustainability leaders Closed Loop Partners, The Recycling Partnership and World Wildlife Fund, designed to improve plastics circularity. These efforts support individual sustainability commitments undertaken by The Coca-Cola Company, Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo.
Learn more about Every Bottle Back at www.EveryBottleBack.org.
Evergreen, a division of Greenbridge, was established in 1998 to provide a sustainable, reliable supply of polyester resin for Greenbridge’s portfolio of PET strapping. Today Evergreen is among the nation’s largest plastic (PET) recyclers, collecting and processing more than two billion post-consumer PET bottles and currently produces a combined total of more than 80 million pounds of food-grade rPET annually at its locations in Clyde, Ohio, and Riverside, California. Evergreen is transforming plastic recycling with advanced robotics and state-of-the-art manufacturing lines. We are the preferred supplier of food grade rPET pellets and flake to many top global brands, helping customers increase recycled content in their plastic packaging, achieve sustainability goals and more fully participate in Environmental, Social and Governance programs. Learn More at www.EvergreenTogether.com.
About Closed Loop Partners
Closed Loop Partners is a New York-based investment firm comprised of venture capital, growth equity, private equity, project-based finance and an innovation center focused on building the circular economy. The firm has built an ecosystem that connects entrepreneurs, industry experts, global consumer goods companies, retailers, financial institutions, and municipalities, bridging gaps and fostering synergies to scale the circular economy. Learn more at www.closedlooppartners.com
To schedule an interview, please contact American Beverage’s Press Office at [email protected].
America’s Leading Beverage Companies Unite To Reduce New Plastic Use & Increase Collection Of Their Valuable Bottles Through ‘Every Bottle Back’ Initiative
The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper Will Support Circular Plastics Economy Through Investment and Action, in Conjunction with World Wildlife Fund, The Recycling Partnership & Closed Loop Partners
WASHINGTON – America’s leading beverage companies – The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper – today announced the launch of the Every Bottle Back initiative, a breakthrough effort to reduce the industry’s use of new plastic by making significant investments to improve the collection of the industry’s valuable plastic bottles so they can be made into new bottles. These competitors are coming together to support the circular plastics economy by reinforcing to consumers the value of their 100% recyclable plastic bottles and caps and ensuring they don’t end up as waste in oceans, rivers or landfills. This program is being executed in conjunction with two of the country’s most prominent environmental nonprofits and the leading investment firm focused on the development of the circular economy. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) will provide strategic scientific advice to help measure the industry’s progress in reducing its plastic footprint and The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners will assist in deploying funds for the initiative.
“Our industry recognizes the serious need to reduce new plastic in our environment, and we want to do our part to lead with innovative solutions. Our bottles are designed to be remade, and that is why this program is so important. We are excited to partner with the leading environmental and recycling organizations to build a circular system for the production, use, recovery and remaking of our bottles. Every Bottle Back will ensure that our plastic bottles are recovered after use and remade into new bottles, so we can reduce the amount of new plastic used to bring our beverages to market. This is an important step for our industry, and it builds on our ongoing commitment to protecting the environment for generations to come.”
Katherine Lugar, president and CEO of the American Beverage Association (ABA)
The Every Bottle Back initiative, spearheaded by ABA, will:
- Measure industry progress in reducing the use of new plastic in the United States through a collaboration with ReSource: Plastic, WWF’s corporate activation hub to help companies turn their ambitious plastic waste commitments into meaningful and measurable progress by rethinking the way plastic material is produced, used and recycled. Specifically, ABA will use the ReSource: Plastic accounting methodology to track on the collective progress made on executing strategies to reduce the use of new plastic as well as a resource in identifying additional interventions.
- Improve the quality and availability of recycled plastic in key regions of the country by directing the equivalent of $400 million to The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners through a new $100 million industry fund that will be matched three-to-one by other grants and investors. The investments will be used to improve sorting, processing and collection in areas with the biggest infrastructure gaps to help increase the amount of recycled plastic available to be remade into beverage bottles.
- Launch a public awareness campaign to help consumers understand the value of 100% recyclable bottles through community outreach and partner engagement and reinforce the importance of getting these bottles back, so they can be remade into new bottles. According to a poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) on behalf of ABA, nearly half of consumers were unaware that America’s leading beverage companies are already making bottles that are 100% recyclable, including the caps.
- Work together to leverage our packaging to remind consumers that our bottles are 100% recyclable and can be remade into new bottles. Beverage companies will begin introducing voluntary messaging on packages beginning in late 2020.
“Reaching our goal of No Plastic in Nature by 2030 will only happen if business, governments and the NGO community work together to fix a broken plastic material system. ABA is driving this sense of collaboration within the beverage industry to address one critical piece within this system, which is PET recycling in the U.S. Measured by our ReSource: Plastic footprint tracker, the efforts made through Every Bottle Back will be met with data-driven solutions to ensure that real progress is being made. We hope the ambition raised by this initiative will inspire other industries to follow suit within the broader effort to stop plastic waste pollution.”
Sheila Bonini, senior vice president of private sector engagement at WWF
“The beverage industry cannot deliver on its promises of sustainable packaging without serious improvements to the current U.S. recycling system. Working in partnership with the beverage industry on its Every Bottle Back initiative will help to improve local recycling and provide Americans with stronger recycling programs for all materials, including plastic bottles. We applaud ABA’s members for launching meaningful, measurable work.”
Keefe Harrison, chief executive officer of The Recycling Partnership
“The leadership exhibited by The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Keurig Dr Pepper provides the investment necessary to optimize recycling in these cities and states. This partnership will serve as a model for the effectiveness of industry collaboration in modernizing recycling infrastructure and driving a reduction in the use of virgin plastic.”
Ron Gonen, chief executive officer of Closed Loop Partners
The majority of plastic beverage containers in the United States are made from polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, a strong, lightweight and safe plastic approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in food and beverage containers. It is unique, and because of its quality and versatility, recycled PET for years has been in high demand for use in an array of products as varied as clothing, carpets and playground equipment. Through the Every Bottle Back initiative, beverage companies are stepping up efforts to reclaim as much plastic packaging as possible to ensure it is remade into new PET bottles.
“We’re proud to come together with our competitors to address the serious issue of plastic waste in our environment. We know we cannot do this alone and, in order to meet our goals and those of our industry, we need to work in partnership to drive collective action to ensure our bottles have second, third and fourth lives through continued recycling and re-use.”
James Dinkins, president, Coca-Cola North America
“At PepsiCo, we are striving to build a world where plastics need never become waste. We are proud to collaborate with others in the industry and respected partners to advance that vision and to do the hard work needed to educate consumers, enable collections and inspire action to recycle our plastic bottles. More recycled plastic lessens the need for new plastic.”
Kirk Tanner, chief executive officer, PepsiCo Beverages North America
“We have seen the meaningful impact this industry can have when we collaborate, and we are proud to be partnering to reduce our collective use of new plastic, while increasing the recycling and reuse of our 100% recyclable bottles. The Every Bottle Back initiative supports KDP’s top environmental priority to reduce packaging waste, as we work to support a circular economy with strong collective action.”
Derek Hopkins, chief commercial officer, Keurig Dr Pepper