The University of Miami has joined a growing list of organizations that have integrated reverse vending technology into their environmental and sustainability programs. Reverse vending is a recyclables recovery process by which plastic bottles and aluminum cans are deposited into a unit, the materials are crushed and sorted by type, then collected, treated, and prepared for reuse. For Coke Florida, specifically, the materials will be used to produce new beverage packaging at local facilities. This process ultimately reduces carbon emissions across the supply chain and supports The Coca-Cola Company’s World Without Waste initiative to recycle a bottle or can for every one sold by 2030.
“As the local Florida Coca-Cola bottler, we are committed to sustainability and supporting our customers and community partners seeking to expand upon their existing recycling programs,” said Erin Black, Vice President, Sustainability and Risk Management for Coke Florida. “That’s why on America Recycles Day, we were extremely excited to partner with The Coca-Cola Company to launch our first RVM placement with the University of Miami. This is one of the many sustainability programs we deploy in communities across our network.”
Alpa Sutaria, General Manager, Sustainability, for The Coca-Cola Company’s North America Operating Unit added, “We are proud to partner with our local bottler to bring Reverse Vending Machine technology to life and reward communities committed to sustainability through efforts that increase recycling and help us reach our World Without Waste goals.”
When students, faculty, and staff participate in this recycling process, it not only contributes to lessening of the University’s environmental footprint, but it also is rewarded by the Coca-Cola system.
For each plastic bottle or aluminum can collected through the machine, 5 cents (up to $5,000), will be donated by The Coca-Cola Company to the University of Miami Marine Science Graduate Student Organization (MSGSO) sustainability initiative. The University’s MSGSO focuses on environmental awareness and outreach activities that help strengthen the intersection of science and sustainability, on campus and in the community.
“The incredible efforts that Coca-Cola Beverages Florida and UM Dining Services have deployed to bring this Reverse Vending Machine to our campus will have multiple benefits,” said Teddy Lhoutellier, Sustainability Manager, University of Miami. “We are now able to provide a solution to recycle cans and bottles in an efficient manner, and by doing so, we are helping our own green student organizations. Students get it—they started collecting more than 30 bags of recyclables during the Homecoming tailgate, and they brought several more by to recycle in the RVM.”
America Recycles Day, observed on November 15th each year, was established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and demonstrates the positive impacts of recycling on our environment and serves as a reminder for Coke Florida’s 20 million consumers to actively recycle year-round.
(Source: Business Wire)