With COVID-19 still lingering, personal protective equipment, (PPE gear) has unfortunately become a way of life. And single-use masks and gloves a growing problem.
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 in addition to being an aesthetic buzzkill, poses a dangerous contamination risk.
To help counter this escalating problem Anheuser-Busch’s craft division, Brewers Collective, has as partnered with TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company, to promote the proper recycling of PPE gear.
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.
“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,” said Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis, president, Brewers Collective.
“By partnering with TerraCycle, we are addressing the very time-sensitive issue of safely recycling our brewery PPE, while also creating a solution that supports the larger community,”
“TerraCycle’s mission has always been to 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 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 addition to installing Zero Waste Boxes, Brewers Collective 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.
The following breweries are participating in the TerraCycle Zero Waste Box program, either via boxes deployed at the brewery, the “Pints for PPE” pub initiative, or both….
- 10 Barrel Brewing Company (Bend, OR)
- Appalachian Mountain Brewery (Boone, NC)
- Blue Point Brewing Company (Patchogue, LI)
- Breckenridge Brewery (Littleton, CO)
- Cisco Brewers (Portsmouth, NH)
- Devils Backbone Brewing Company (Roseland, VA)
- Elysian Brewing (Seattle, WA)
- Four Peaks Brewing Company (Tempe, AZ)
- Golden Road Brewing (Anaheim, CA)
- Goose Island Beer Company (Chicago, IL)
- Karbach Brewing Company (Houston, TX)
- Platform Beer Co (Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH)
- Redhook Brewing (Seattle, WA)
- Veza Sur Brewing Company (Miami, FL)
- Virtue Cider (Fennville, MI)
- Wicked Weed Brewing (Asheville, NC)
- Widmer Brothers Brewing (Portland, OR)
- Wynwood Brewing Company (Miami, FL)