The American Beverage Association (ABA), Washington, D.C., announced it has joined the newly formed U.S. Plastics Pact as a Not-for-Profit Founding Activator. In this role, ABA will provide leadership in the transition to the circular economy for plastics and work with pact stakeholders to promote its acceleration, the association says. This undertaking is the latest step in the beverage industry’s efforts to create solutions for a more sustainable future that protects our environment and keeps plastic out of the environment.

 The U.S. Plastics Pact, led by The Recycling Partnership, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), and Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is a collaborative, solutions-driven initiative bringing more than 60 brands, retailers, NGOs and government agencies across the plastics value chain. Together, these entities will unify on approaches to reduce the amount of plastic packaging and increase the amount of plastic that is recycled and remade into new products, it says.

The goals of the pact coincide with the aims of  the beverage industry’s Every Bottle Back initiative, which is already working independently with WWF to measure its progress in reducing the use of new plastic by increasing the amount of plastic that is collected and remade into new products, as intended.

In fact, America’s leading beverage companies already committed to making 100 percent recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging by 2025 and are well on their way toward achieving it. This is an essential first step to creating a circular economy where our bottles can be collected, recycled and remade into new bottles. The pact includes as one of its goals that all plastic packaging be 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Every Bottle Back demonstrates that America’s beverage companies have been hard at work on these issues for some time. This initiative is marshaling the equivalent of nearly a half-billion dollars to educate consumers and improve recycling systems with modern technology and state-of-the-art infrastructure in collaboration with The Recycling Partnership and Closed Loop Partners, the association says. The pact will provide scalable solutions, unify approaches and encourage cross-sector collaboration to accelerate progress across industries, including supporting the beverage industry in achieving its sustainability goals, it adds.

 “Through collaboration and innovation, our industry is leading with better way solutions to create a circular economy for our plastic bottles while helping to eliminate plastic in the environment,” said Katherine Lugar, ABA president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “We look forward to sharing our ideas and experience in sustainability with U.S. Plastics Pact members as we work together toward effective and sustainable solutions. Our shared goal will help us realize a world where plastic doesn’t end up where it was never intended to be - in landfills, beaches, rivers and oceans.”

While the U.S. Plastics Pact is complementary to, and follows the ambitious precedents set by the existing global network of plastic pacts, it will be tailored to meet the unique needs and challenges of the domestic market. The U.S. pact will reflect national priorities and realities, while propelling the nation closer to other developed nations in its management of plastic waste.

These efforts support individual sustainability commitments previously undertaken by The Coca-Cola Co., Keurig Dr Pepper and PepsiCo.