Performance Notes – Jeremy Cage, senior vice president and head of the Dream Machine recycling initiative
Sunday, April 22, is Earth Day and marks the two-year anniversary of the PepsiCo Dream Machine recycling initiative—and what a tremendous two years it has been. We’re commemorating this milestone with the release of a progress report that shares the program’s cumulative results and successes since its launch on Earth Day 2010.
With the Dream Machine recycling initiative, it’s our goal to provide the public with access to convenient and rewarding recycling solutions so that we can help increase the national beverage container recycling rate to 50 percent by 2018, and establish a closed-loop system to capture more recycled plastic to use in manufacturing new bottles. Currently at 40 percent, the national rate is rising and is up six percentage points since 2007.
In the past two years, we’ve made a great deal of progress. The program has a presence in 40 states, with 4,000 Dream Machine bins and kiosks deployed. More than 150 universities, municipalities and businesses have signed on to host Dream Machines. Approximately 400,000 students at more than 900 K-12 U.S. schools are participating in the Dream Machine Recycle Rally. These efforts, and recycling efforts at PepsiCo industrial locations, have resulted in the diversion of nearly 94 million plastic bottles and aluminum cans from landfills.
We are eager to roll out additional placements this year and add to the growing and impressive roster of Dream Machine host partners—partners like the multiple 7-Eleven franchises currently hosting Dream Machine kiosks; the DowntownDC Business Improvement District with more than 350 Dream Machine bins; and major grocery chains like Weis Markets, Reasor’s Foods and Safeway, which recently launched a Dream Machine pilot program in Southern California that helps support the Los Angeles Conservation Corps.
On top of the tremendous strides the program has made toward helping increase the national beverage container recycling rate, over the past two years, PepsiCo has donated a cumulative $1 million to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), an organization that provides free education and entrepreneurship training to post-9/11 U.S. veterans with disabilities. PepsiCo will make a third-$500,000 donation this year and the more bottles and cans recycled in Dream Machines, the more support PepsiCo will provide to the EBV.
Additionally, recyclers across the U.S. have earned rewards points by recycling in Dream Machine kiosks and through the Dream Machine Recycle Rally program. These points can be redeemed for discounts on entertainment, dining and travel, and participating Dream Machine Recycle Rally schools have had the opportunity to compete for numerous contest prizes.
We are proud of the progress made over the past two years since the launch of the program, but we know the job has only just begun. It takes all of us working together to make a difference. Thank you for your continued support of the Dream Machine recycling initiative—and don’t forget to recycle in your nearest Dream Machine!