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Extended producer responsibility is at the forefront of Nestlé Waters North America‘s sustainability profile. The company’s Vice President of Sustainability, Michael Washburn, says that recycling rates for beverage containers hover somewhere between 30% and 40% — especially significant when you consider that beverage containers represent 4% of the U.S. solid waste stream. Now, the company is focusing on new ways to retrieve its empty bottles so it can do more green good. “We wanted to get our containers back because we know how to recycle that material and put it back into productive use — ideally it goes back into more bottles,” Washburn says. “When we started a campaign to increase [Nestlé Waters’] EPR, it was with the intention of increasing recycling rates and getting that material back. We’re going to need that material in the future, and if it’s going to waste we’re missing the opportunity.”

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