Recycle Your PPE at These Craft Breweries and You Could Score Free Beer
Not that you need an excuse to go to a brewery, but a couple of Anheuser-Busch-owned craft breweries are upping the ante in a way that's fitting for this era of COVID-19—turning their taprooms into PPE recycling points and offering free beer for your old masks and gloves. And with 18 of the beer giant's brewers now recycling PPE internally, hopefully more will be accepting customers' PPE in exchange for brews soon.
Anheuser-Busch has 23 brands under its "Brewers Collective" umbrella which covers craft beer and some other beverages like cider and hard seltzer. In a partnership with the forward-thinking recycling company TerraCycle (which has previously teamed up with the likes of Burger King and Nestle), 18 of those brands across have been equipped with TerraCycle Zero Waste Boxes for recycling single-use masks and gloves.
Currently, most of the boxes are for employee use only, but at two breweries—Elysian Brewing in Seattle, Washington, and Four Peaks Brewing in Tempe, Arizona—the Brewers Collective has also launched a "Pints for PPE" program where customers will receive gift cards for bringing in their eligible PPE recycling.
And Anheuser-Busch says that more Brewers Collective brands should be joining in soon. "We are expecting our craft breweries to start rolling out their 'Pints for PPE' local efforts over the course of February, with details to be announced on their social channels," Marcelo "Mika" Michaelis, president of Anheuser-Busch's Brewers Collective, told me via email. "This will be a continued partnership with TerraCycle through 2021, with multiple boxes installed across our craft breweries to accommodate the PPE."
Specifically, TerraCycle's boxes can accept disposable gloves made from vinyl, latex, or nitrile and any disposable medical or industrial mask. (A full list of what can be recycled can be found here.) Though these items should not be thrown in with your usual household recycling, Anheuser-Busch explains that TerraCycle has "developed an innovative recycling solution where the collected waste is cleaned, melted and remolded to make new products" including "composite decking, outdoor furniture, and reusable shipping pallets."
"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," Sue Kauffman, TerraCycle's North American public relations manager, said in the announcement. "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."
And though only two breweries have announced their public-facing recycling programs so far, Anheuser-Busch has revealed the other 16 breweries that currently have TerraCycle boxes. So if you're wondering what breweries might be joining the "Pints for PPE" program in the future, maybe keep an eye on these 16 other brands:
• 10 Barrel Brewing in Denver, Colorado
• Appalachian Mountain Brewery in Boone, North Carolina
• Blue Point Brewing in Patchogue, New York
• Breckenridge Brewery in Littleton, Colorado
• Cisco Brewers in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
• Devils Backbone Brewing in Roseland, Virginia
• Golden Road Brewing in Anaheim, California
• Goose Island Beer Company in Chicago, Illinois
• Karbach Brewing Company in Houston, Texas
• Platform Beer Co in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio
• Redhook Brewing in Seattle, Washington
• Veza Sur Brewing in Miami, Florida
• Virtue Cider in Fennville, Michigan
• Wicked Weed Brewing in Asheville, North Carolina
• Widmer Brothers Brewing in Portland, Oregon
• Wynwood Brewing in Miami, Florida