Only 33 percent are doing it

Of the 215 billion plastic, glass and aluminum containers sold in the United States in 2006, only 33 percent were recycled. That’s according to the “2008 U.S. Beverage Container Recycling Scorecard and Report” produced by As You Sow.

Coca-Cola received the best grade, a C, for its practices in source reductions, using recycled content, recovery and recycling efforts and transparency of those practices. Nine of the companies received F’s, with varying scores. Listed from bad to worst, they were: National Beverage, Miller Brewing Company, Coors Brewing Company, Monarch Beverage, Dr. Pepper/Snapple. Cott, Hansens, Starbucks and Crystal Geyser.

And while everyone swears the United States has hopped on the green bandwagon, the national recycling rate has dropped since 1992 from 55 percent to 33 percent. And half of the country still lacks basic curbside recycling programs, which were reduced by 2.5 percent in 2006. However, states with mandatory deposit, otherwise known as “bottle bills,” have an average recycling rate of 70 percent.

The report is based on surveys CRI sent to 23 beverage companies—seven of whom responded—and on information from websites and corporate social responsibility reports. The respondents control 74 percent of the country’s soft drink market, more than 60 percent of its bottled water market and nearly 50 percent of the U.S. beer industry. Read the full report at