While it is easier than ever to recycle, many Americans have lost the habit of doing so.
According to PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, the recycling rates for materials like aluminum and common plastics have been falling in the United States. As she recently wrote in an op-ed in Forbes, the lack of recycling has lead to 22 million tons of recyclable items ending up in landfills while other plastics end up as litter on streets or as pollution in the oceans.
“Have Americans given up on recycling? I don’t think so,” Nooyi wrote, noting that nearly 75 percent of Americans say recycling is important to them. “More likely, Americans simply don’t know exactly how to recycle, or lack ready access to a recycling bin.”
To combat that lack of access, Nooyi announced that PepsiCo was partnering with The Recycling Partnership to create a new initiative called “All In On Recycling.” “Together we’re aiming to capture as many as 7 billion additional containers over that period, along with other recyclable materials from households across the United States,” Nooyi noted.
The Pepsi CEO was also motivated by the amount of plastics-related pollution she has seen while on her travels. “But in too many places, I also see something else: an alarming amount of waste by the side of the road, piling up in our cities and polluting our oceans,” she wrote. “It’s deeply troubling, all the more so because it’s altogether preventable. Something has to change, and we can start here at home.”
In recent years, several states in India have implemented plastic bag bans in order to reduce such pollution. In Nooyi’s piece, she states that corporations like PepsiCo have the civic responsibility to work to reduce plastic and metal waste. “For too long, many companies have not met those responsibilities when it comes to recycling the products we make,” she stated. “If other companies are willing to join us and go “All In On Recycling,” that can change—starting today.”