Waste Not
Grab a Beer, Recycle Your Mask:
Brewers Collective, TerraCycle Partner on PPE Recycling

Anheuser-Busch is equipping its craft facilities across the US with Zero Waste Boxes and promoting safe recycling through local ‘Pints for PPE’ efforts.

This week, Brewers Collective — the craft business unit of Anheuser-Busch — launched a national partnership with TerraCycle to promote the proper recycling of personal protective equipment (PPE).  

To help do its part to help rein in the rampant waste of plastic and other materials since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic (Johns Hopkins University estimated that an average of 45 million masks were per day in the US in 2020), Brewers Collective has installed TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes, specifically for single-use masks and gloves, at 18 craft breweries across the US; once full, 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 Brewers Collective partnership is similar to one TerraCycle formed with Las VegasVenetian Resort in August, to recycle the surgical masks being used by guests and staff.

“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 Director. “Through the launch of this recycling initiative, Anheuser-Busch’s Brewers Collective is doing its part to tackle the growing impact of PPE waste in local communities and helping create a more sustainable world for future generations.” 

The decision to focus on PPE recycling emerged from the continued widespread public use of protective equipment, and the continued littering of public spaces and landfills with single-use gloves and masks — which not only create environmental risks, but also 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,” said Brewers Collective president Marcelo “Mika” Michaelis. “By partnering with TerraCycle, we are addressing the time-sensitive issue of safely recycling our brewery PPE, while also creating a solution that supports the larger community.”

To incentivize communities’ participation in the recycling effort, select breweries will also be offering local “Pints for PPE” promotions at their brewpubs. “Pints for PPE” offers gift cards or merchandise for customers 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:

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