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That Jacket Was Once A Plastic Bottle: Aquafina/Sam's Club in Support of Recycling

Aquafina and Sam's Club have teamed up to hand out 25,000 fleece jackets to 100 schools. Apart from keeing kids warm this winter, what's cool about this? They're made out of recycled PET bottles.

In keeping with the holiday spirit, bottled water manufacturer Aquafina, along with retail chain Sam's Club has handed out 25,000 fleece jackets to 100 schools.

At first glance, the news is just another instance of corporate philanthropy – laudable but nothing to really bat an eyelid at. What's interesting about the effort: the jackets are actually made out of 189 million recycled bottles.

The endeavor began as part of a "Return the Warmth" program started by Sam's Club and Aquafina in support of Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup. This is the third year the two have partnered on this program. The program challenged communities and schools to recycle 80 million plastic between March 1st and May 31st. The goal was far surpassed, and the top 50 schools that collected the most bottles received fleeces as well as a $1,000 Sam's Club gift card.

Last year, Fast Company ran a story on America's  bottled water craze. The nation spends about $16 billion every year on bottled water - much of it coming from nations in which chunks of the population do not have access to safe, reliable drinking water. The impacts of production, transportation and consumption - for the environment and beyond - are startling. Recycling is only one step in the right direction.

That being said, it's far better than doing nothing at all. And turnining PET bottles into a warmly useful product - that's undeniably cool in our books.


Via Brandweek and Beverage World.

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  • Jame Chang

    This is really a great way to promote recycling with youth. I complete agree that it is a much more effective way of doing it than putting up posters. While there are costs to recycling, it is vital that the youth are informed of how precious our natural resources are. Unfortunately, my opinion is that kids these days are growing up in a material, incentive-laden society, and providing a reward is probably the only way of getting a message through to them. While this program improves the public's perception of Aquafina and Sam's Club, I think it's a true reflection of them being a good corporate citizen, and not just doing it for show to improve their image.

  • Angela Bernstein

    I think that’s awesome. It may seem like a really small step but I remember how I was as a child and if I received one of those fleece jackets I would have been pumped and all about recycling. I think that makes more of a lasting impression than a poster in the cafeteria urging you to recycle. The amount of bottled water that is consumed is amazing, really. And to think of what we actually pay per gallon of bottled water should silence a lot of folks who complain about gas prices. I really admire what Aquafina and Sam’s Club have done.