Sealed Air, Coca-Cola Consolidated, Envision Charlotte, City Of Charlotte And CATS Announce Send Me On My Way Recycling Initiative

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Envision Charlotte and the City of Charlotte have partnered with Sealed Air, Coca-Cola Consolidated, and the Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) to launch Send Me on My Way, a campaign to educate residents and increase recycling rates in Charlotte.

This initiative will initially use ambassadors at local companies to educate their employees about recycling, emphasizing the importance of recycling and upcycling plastics. CATS will collect certain plastics on a retired, retrofitted bus and deliver them to Coca-Cola Consolidated and Sealed Air. The plastics will be sent on their way to a next life in which they will become new packaging, or transformed into new materials such as polyester.

“The ability to put recycled content back into our packaging is not a matter of science, it’s a matter of infrastructure,” said Ken Chrisman, Sealed Air’s senior vice president of commercial operations. “Most cities aren’t able to harvest and efficiently recycle flexible plastic materials, and there is little to no financial incentive for facilities to invest in upgrades because there is a limited market for the recycled material. That must change, and Sealed Air wants to help facilitate that change.”

“Coca-Cola Consolidated has been very active in sustainability efforts for many years – from recycling to water replenishment, to environmental cleanup,” said Kimberly Kuo, senior vice president of public affairs at Coca-Cola Consolidated. “Many of our plastic bottles are 100% recyclable, so we are eager to collect and reuse the plastic for new beverage packaging. We believe every plastic bottle can be recycled and reused for new bottles or other valuable consumer goods.”

Charlotte households generate over 144,000 tons of plastics annually, but only 3,000 tons are recycled. In 2018, the City of Charlotte announced it would become the first U.S. city to develop a circular economy strategy. As part of this plan, the Send Me on My Way campaign will run through July of 2020.

“We hope this is the first of many programs to engage our citizens and transform our community into a more circular one with less waste going to the landfill, while promoting innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Charlotte City Manager Marcus D. Jones.

For more information on Envision Charlotte and the Send Me on My Way campaign, visit circularclt.com.