Anheuser-Busch’s partnership promotes proper recycling of personal protective equipment

Brewers Collective, the craft business unit of Anheuser-Busch, announced a national partnership with innovative recycling company TerraCycle to promote the proper recycling of personal protective equipment (PPE).

Brewers Collective has installed TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes specially intended for single-use masks and gloves, at 18 craft breweries across the US Once the boxes are filled, they will be returned to TerraCycle for recycling.

The collected PPE will be cleaned, melted, and processed into a raw material that can be used to make new products, such as composite decking, outdoor furniture, and reusable shipping pallets.

The decision to focus on PPE recycling emerged from the continued widespread public use of protective equipment due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, Johns Hopkins University estimated that the US was using an average of 45 million masks per day, most of which are not approved for traditional recycling bins. As PPE usage continues, community streets, parks, and beaches are being littered with single-use gloves and masks, which poses a dangerous contamination risk.

“Sustainability has always been a core focus for our company and our craft brewery partners, and this past year presented a new and unique set of environmental challenges for our industry overall. By partnering with TerraCycle, we are addressing the very time-sensitive issue of safely recycling our brewery PPE, whilst also creating a solution that supports the larger community,” said Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, president, Brewers Collective, Anheuser-Busch.

In addition to installing Zero Waste Boxes, select breweries will also be promoting broader community awareness of proper PPE recycling through local “Pints for PPE” efforts at their brewpubs. “Pints for PPE” offers refreshing incentives, such as gift cards or merchandise, for consumers who bring their used PPE into local participating brewpubs. Details and timing of local “Pints for PPE” events will be shared on participating breweries’ social channels.

“TerraCycle’s mission has always been to ‘Eliminate the Idea of Waste’ and provide solutions for items that seem difficult to recycle, such as disposable masks and gloves,” says Sue Kauffman, TerraCycle’s North American Public Relations Manager. “Through the launch of this recycling initiative, Anheuser-Busch’s Brewers Collective is leading the industry by doing its part to tackle the growing impact of PPE waste in local communities and helping create a more sustainable world for future generations.”

This new partnership with TerraCycle expands on Brewers Collective’s ongoing investments in the long-term health of our environment and our communities, as well as Anheuser-Busch’s broader sustainability goals for 2025 which focus on Renewable Electricity and Carbon Reduction, Smart Agriculture, Water Stewardship, and Circular Packaging.

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