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February 21, 2020

Waste Management Joins with the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) as a Recycling Demand Champion

Company utilizes title sponsorship of Waste Management Phoenix Open and WM Sustainability Forum to drive awareness of recycled content products

HOUSTON – FEB. 21, 2020 – Waste Management (WM) advocates for increased end market demand for post consumer recycled (PCR) materials to provide sustainable end markets for the recycling industry. Recognizing the role the Company could play in making a direct impact, WM worked with Cascade Cart Solutions to integrate bulky rigid plastics collected in curbside recycling programs to begin producing the Company’s curbside carts.

The new EcoCart, unveiled at WM’s 10th Annual Sustainability Forum, is made with 10 percent post consumer content. With the Company’s cart purchasing commitment, WM joined together with the Association of Plastic Recyclers (APR) Recycling Demand Champion Campaign. The program is designed to foster and build the end-use market place, calling on companies to commit to purchasing products and with residential post consumer plastic. As a Demand Champion, WM will help improve plastics recycling in North America by committing to increase our use of PCR.

“Working with suppliers to create new domestic market opportunities for recycled plastics is the basis for The APR Recycling Demand Champions Campaign,” said Liz Bedard, APR’s director of rigids plastics recycling program. “The partnership between APR, Waste Management, and Cascade is the culmination of 18 months of hard work. The utilization of residential PCR in recycling carts is the perfect example of industry stakeholders working together to develop a new application that is also an iconic symbol of recycling that consumers see everyday.”

“We’re proud to join APR as a Recycling Demand Champion and thank our customers, like KW Plastics, for the valuable end market they provide for bulky rigid materials which are utilized for the Cascade EcoCart sustainable cart for trash and recycling bins,” said Brent Bell, WM vice president of recycling.

In addition to the new Cascade EcoCart, WM highlighted 15 other companies at its new Circular Economy Showcase at the WM Sustainability Forum that utilize post-consumer recycled content to produce new products. The program also included a panel highlighting “Recycling Demand/Demand Recycling” to inspire other companies.

The 10th Annual WM Sustainability Forum was held during Waste Management Phoenix Open (WMPO) week. WM educated attendees about how to ‘Recycle Right’ by recycling bottles, cans, paper and cardboard, while keeping food, liquid and plastic bags out of recycling bins. In addition to conveying the importance of recycling, which conserves natural resources, recycled items are given the opportunity to serve new purposes.

Attendees learned how their recycling efforts translate into new products. Waste Management led by example by closing the recycling loop and working with companies who take recycled material and produce new products for the tournament. At the Waste Management Phoenix Open, fans could purchase apparel and headwear from Puma, Bermuda Sands and Loudmouth, which sourced Unifi’s REPREVE recycled fibers produced from plastic bottles.

“We continue to find that consumers become very excited when they understand how recycled plastic bottles can be transformed into fiber that is used to make apparel more sustainable. Seeing the REPREVE bottle count on something like the Loudmouth pants being sold at the tournament reaffirms their commitment to recycling – they recognize that the bottles they recycle during the tournament could wind up being in the pants, shorts or tops that they buy online or at the store,” said Jay Hertwig, senior vice president of global brand sales for Unifi. 

Embracing the irreverent spirit of the Waste Management Phoenix Open, WM unveiled its third annual version of Loudmouth Golf “WMPO Party Pants” and for the first time they were also available for purchase in the official tournament merchandise shop. Partying with a purpose took on a new meaning as each fan sporting the unique Loudmouth pants, skorts or shorts contributed to a larger purpose of embracing sustainability. Loudmouth sourced Unifi’s REPREVE fabric made with 30 percent recycled content from plastic bottles. WM also produced matching Loudmouth tote bags and drawstring bags for WM team members and guests attending the tournament.

“As part of their zero waste mission, Waste Management asked us to design a loud pant made out of recycled bottles,” said Woody, Loudmouth Golf founder & designer. “The fabric, known as REPREVE®, is so luxe, you won’t believe you’re wearing fabric made from recycled bottles. Now you can help the earth and look great doing it.”

Thanks to a broader collaboration between WM and the Company’s branded merchandise partner Zorch, fans sporting the fun fashion translated to supporting a $10,000 contribution to The Foundation for Plastic Recycling. The Foundation was also selected in part to celebrate Waste Management joining APR as a Recycling Demand Champion.

“We applaud Waste Management for their remarkable commitment to recycling,” said Lisa Lopinsky, executive director of the Foundation for Plastic Recycling. “The donation of the proceeds from the sale of the WMPO Party Pants is an investment in our mission to drive sustainability solutions for plastics packaging in order to support the Circular Economy, and we are most appreciative.”

ABOUT WASTE MANAGEMENT

Waste Management, based in Houston, Texas, is the leading provider of comprehensive waste management environmental services in North America. Through its subsidiaries, the Company provides collection, transfer, disposal services, and recycling and resource recovery. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the United States. The Company’s customers include residential, commercial, industrial, and municipal customers throughout North America. To learn more information about Waste Management, www.wm.com or www.thinkgreen.com.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Media

Janette Micelli
602-579-6152
jmicelli@wm.com

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