MILWAUKEE — In a first-of-its kind partnership that provides a local solution toward the global crisis of plastic waste, SC Johnson is teaming up with the Milwaukee Brewers to create a new market and new recycling model for one of the biggest sources of waste at their ballpark – the more than 1 million plastic cups used each season.
Starting with the 2020 season, fans at Miller Park will be able to place plastic drink cups branded with the SC Johnson logo in specially designed receptacles to separate them from other waste. SC Johnson will collect the cups and use the recycled plastic in Scrubbing Bubbles bottles.
This is the first U.S. professional sports team to link a waste stream to a specific product, closing the recycling loop and tackling one of the biggest barriers to plastic recycling in the U.S. and globally – the lack of markets for recycled material. Today, only 13% of plastic packaging in the U.S. is recycled, and much of what is placed into mixed recycling bins is not recyclable at all.
“We all need to work together to help close the plastic recycling loop, and I hope this first-of-its-kind initiative with the Brewers will serve as a model for other major league teams, companies and even other sports leagues,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of SC Johnson.
SC Johnson’s partnership with the Brewers is one of many actions the company has taken to tackle plastic waste focusing on three separate fronts: reducing plastics in its products, reusing recycled plastic and creating compostable plastics.
The partnership officially kicked off today at Miller Park, where Rick Schlesinger, Brewers President of Business Operations, and Fisk Johnson joined Brewers pitchers Brent Suter and Corey Knebel. Suter, who holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Harvard University, recently launched his own initiative, Strike Out Waste, to help his teammates reduce plastic use inside the ballpark and in their personal lives.
“I am excited that the Brewers and SC Johnson are teaming up to bring greater awareness to important issues like recycling and ocean plastics,” said Suter. “We can all make a positive impact in our homes, our communities and with this program in place, we can now make a direct impact at the ballpark.”
SC Johnson and the Brewers will continue to partner throughout the 2020 season, with additional promotions including organized “Clean Up Days” and philanthropic contributions with select players for heightened education and awareness. Further, for each save recorded by a Brewers pitcher, SC Johnson and the Brewers will make a donation to the “Players for the Planet” initiative, which works to reduce ocean plastic.
“The Green Sports Alliance commends the Milwaukee Brewers MLB leadership team and SC Johnson for demonstrating the power of collaboration in creating a closed loop business model that decreases landfill waste,” said Green Sports Alliance executive director Roger McClendon. “This sets a great example for sports and business industries to pause and evaluate the traditional mindset of the ‘make, take, consume, and throw away pattern,’ and move toward a zero waste circular economy.”
For decades, SC Johnson has been incorporating post-consumer recycled plastic from a variety of sources into its packaging. Since 2015, the company has used 100 percent post-consumer recycled plastic in its iconic Windex line, and last year it announced that Windex® packaging would be made entirely from 100 percent recycled ocean-bound plastic. The company’s offerings also include liquid concentrated refills, compostable plastic bags, recyclable paper bags and fully reusable silicon bags.