PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy Partner to Increase Recycling and Protect Drinking Water

PepsiCo is addressing both curbside and on-the-go recycling as part of its goal to help grow the U.S. beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018.
Aug 5, 2014 1:10 PM ET

PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy—the world’s largest conservation organization by revenue—are joining forces to help encourage consumers to recycle more often to help protect drinking water sources throughout the United States.

As part of a new five-year partnership called “Recycle for Nature,” PepsiCo will expand the availability of recycling bins in the United States beginning where they are needed most—at gas stations and convenience stores. 

Increase Recycling Efforts

“Most consumers want to recycle when they’re away from home – there just aren’t enough convenient places to do it,” said Al Carey, CEO of PepsiCo Americas Beverages.  “This is a huge opportunity that has been largely unaddressed until now. The easier we can make it to recycle, the more likely people are to recycle.”


According to a PepsiCo national survey, 81 percent of Americans say they would recycle beverage containers at a retail location if proper bins were available.1  At away-from-home locations, recycling bins are available only 12 percent of the time.2

PepsiCo and The Nature Conservancy will kick off the Recycle for Nature partnership by expanding a pilot program that PepsiCo has been running in Tulsa, Okla., since 2012 with Kum & Go convenience stores and gas stations.

The goal for this near-term expansion is to drive a tenfold increase in the number of recycling bins in the area. Through its large presence in all 50 states and more than one million active members, the Conservancy will help raise awareness of recycling and increase recycling efforts in their local communities in partnership with PepsiCo. 

“Our new partnership with The Nature Conservancy reinforces our belief that one simple act can have a big impact," said Meagan Smith, program director of PepsiCo Recycling. "We believe that bigger change starts with one bottle, with one person, with one action.”

Drinking Water Conservation

Recycle for Nature will also provide consumers the chance to directly drive drinking water conservation efforts by recycling more often. For every one point increase in the U.S. beverage container recycling rate each year, PepsiCo will make an additional donation to The Nature Conservancy with the goal of reaching up to $1 million each year for five years.

The goal is to save and restore one billion gallons of water over five years in rivers that supply water to millions of people across nine states, including:

  • the Colorado River;
  • Denver’s Front Range Forests;
  • the Verde River in Arizona;
  • the Kings River in Northwest Arkansas; and
  • North Carolina’s Cape Fear River.

PepsiCo will also support awareness and habitat improvement initiatives in The Nature Conservancy’s Green Swamp Preserve in North Carolina designed to protect the rare Venus flytrap and other carnivorous plants. 


The U.S. beverage container recycling rate is currently at 42 percent, according to the American Beverage Association.

“As our population and economies grow, already-stressed water sources will face unprecedented pressure,” said Mark R. Tercek, president and CEO of The Nature Conservancy. “Protecting the rivers that provide clean, reliable water for people and nature is one of the smartest investments that forward-thinking companies can make.  

“We are excited to partner with PepsiCo to protect America's great rivers and also help increase recycling rates nationwide,” he added.

This project is being done as part of PepsiCo’s collaboration with Walmart to increase recycling and investment in the Closed Loop Fund. The Fund is a program that will provide financing to municipalities and other organizations whose goal is to provide people access to recycling when and where they need it.

PepsiCo is now tackling both on-the-go and curbside recycling as part of its goal to help drive the U.S. beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018. The U.S. beverage container recycling rate is currently at 42 percent, according to the American Beverage Association.

PepsiCo’s Commitment to Water

As part of its ongoing commitment to help protect and conserve global water supplies, PepsiCo has reduced its water usage at its production plants by more than 20 percent per unit since 2006. And by teaming with partners around the globe, it has provided access to safe, clean drinking water for three million people. Its achievements were recognized with the Stockholm Industry Water Award and the U.S. Water Prize in 2012. Given the company's strong progress, in 2013 PepsiCo announced a new commitment to provide access to safe water to an additional three million people over the next three years through continued partnerships with water organizations, doubling the company's original goal.

PepsiCo’s Commitment to Recycling

As a part of Performance with Purpose, PepsiCo’s goal to deliver sustained value to shareholders and stakeholders, the company is committed to increasing the recyclability of its packaging. Since 2010, PepsiCo has added more than 5,000 recycling systems across North America through recycling programs in more than 41 states. In 2013, PepsiCo invested in support for the operation and delivery of our recycling programs, increasing the total amount of material recycled to more than 18 million pounds and 324 million containers since 2010.

The company has also undertaken several other initiatives, including:

Closed Loop Fund

PepsiCo, through the PepsiCo Foundation, recently announced a partnership with Walmart and a number of other companies to establish a Closed Loop Fund that will help finance recycling programs to divert valuable raw materials from landfill. The Fund aims to invest $100 million in recycling infrastructure projects and spur private and public funding for transforming the recycling system in the United States. The Fund will provide loans to municipalities and other organizations to fund innovative ideas to reach the goal of providing 100 percent of U.S. households with access to recycling where and when they need it.


By recycling more often, consumers will be able to drive efforts to protect drinking water in five key areas that supply water to millions of people through some of the nation’s most populated and beautiful waterways.

School Recycle Rally

PepsiCo has been working with K-12 schools through its Recycle Rally program since 2010. The program helps teach K-12 students valuable lessons about the importance of recycling and improving our environment while providing the opportunity for valuable rewards and prizes to green their schools. Since the program began, almost 1,000 schools have participated in 35 different states and approximately 42.5 million containers have been collected.

Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans

Since 2010, PepsiCo has donated $1.5 million dollars to support the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) through 2013. Through its partnership with the Institute for Veterans and Military Families, PepsiCo has helped many veterans receive valuable training in entrepreneurship and small business management so they can build their own business and pursue their dreams. Every bottle and can recycled in a PepsiCo bin makes it possible for the company to donate funds to the EBV. Over 4.3 million pounds of recycled bottles and cans have been collected via PepsiCo Recycling to support the EBV.

1Survey results of 1,000 nationally representative Americans ages 18 and over conducted by The Omnibus Company on behalf of PepsiCo

Littering Behavior in America National Study, Keep America Beautiful, 2009