Did you know that your recycled plastic bottle could be transformed into a pair of jeans, a fleece jacket or a park bench? Did you know that your recycled aluminum can could be transformed into yet another aluminum can or even a football stadium?
While much progress has been made in raising environmental awareness since the initial Earth Day, we are still a consumer-driven society that generates 250+ tons of garbage annually. With a vast array of new products and packaging infused into the fabric of our daily lives, the challenges are profound.
Interestingly, the recently released Cone Communications Green Gap Trend Track shows that progress has been made on many fronts. 90 percent of people surveyed told us that they believe it's their responsibility to properly use and dispose of every day products.
And yet, we remain a "drink, toss and go" society. 33 percent of survey respondents indicated that they don't have access to public recycling receptacles or curbside recycling.
Keep America Beautiful is responding to these issues head-on. We're working to create long-term social change by raising awareness and mobilizing Americans to take action around one of the most important social issues of our time: recycling.
We're working with our partners to make recycling more accessible and convenient. We're placing recycling bins and carts in cities, parks and campuses across America so meaningful change can happen.
In fact, since 2009 Keep America Beautiful and its partners have awarded more than 130,000 recycling bins with a value of more than $3.3 million. This includes a donation of 25,000 recycling carts to the City of Chicago by Coca-Cola, being announced today by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in his effort to bring curbside recycling to all wards of his city by the end of 2013.
Sustainable change will happen more quickly with your help.
How will you support the cause?
Matthew M. McKenna
Matthew M. McKenna is the President and CEO, Keep America Beautiful, Inc. Matt joined Keep America Beautiful Inc., in January 2008 as President and CEO of the country's largest community improvement organization supported by more than 1,200 affiliates and participating organizations in nearly 50 states.
Matt is leading the transformation of KAB with bold initiatives in the areas of waste reduction and recycling, litter prevention and beautification including breakthrough work in community revitalization — all while expanding support and increasing recognition for the 60-year-old non-profit organization.
Prior to joining KAB, McKenna held several financial positions at PepsiCo, Inc., including Senior Vice President, Treasurer and Senior Vice President, Finance.
A graduate of Georgetown Law School, Matt is an active director of Foot Locker, Inc. and is also chairman of the Board of the Ignatian Volunteer Corps. McKenna also serves as an adjunct professor at the Fordham University Law School.
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