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Honest Tea’s ‘Great Recycle’ collects 15,000-plus containers

Honest Tea, the Bethesda, Md. wholly owned subsidiary of The Coca-Coca Co., collected more than 15,000 empty plastic, glass and aluminum beverage containers during “The Great Recycle” event in New York City yesterday. The containers were collected in a 30-foot-tall recycling bin in Times Square.

The plastic bottles collected are being recycled into pieces of plastic lumber that GrowNYC will use to build raised beds in urban gardens for New York City public schools as part of its Grow to Learn program. 5-Boro Green Services will responsibly recycle the other items donated during “The Great Recycle,” the company noted.

“We are thrilled with New York’s response to our invitation to keep the (re)cycle going,” said Seth Goldman, co-founder and TeaEO of Honest Tea, in a statement. “While we captured one-third of the amount of bottles Honest Tea sells in a day in New York City, the scale of our effort illustrates how much more work communities need to do to boost recycling rates above 30 percent, let alone our long-term goal of recapturing every bottle that we sell.”

Many New Yorkers came with bags of empty bottles and cans to recycle. After depositing their containers into the 30-foot-tall recycle bin, visitors could redeem points — one for each container —that could be redeemed at the on-site TRASHed Recycle Store for items such as gift certificates to restaurants, a one-year paid membership to a local sports club and a guitar signed by members of the Zac Brown Band.

In addition to the New York City event, 35,500 people pledged to recycle more each week on The Great Recycle’s website, the greatrecycle.com. Those who pledged earned points via RecycleBank, which can be redeemed for discounts and deals from more than 3,000 local and national businesses.

“The Great Recycle” was supported by Honest Tea and partners GrowNYC, RecycleBank, Coca-Cola Live Positively, Global Inheritance and 5-Boro Green Services. The company said plans were already being made to reuse the 30-foot-tall recycle bin to host additional “Great Recycle” events.

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