Updated: Feb 26, 2020
Baseball is America’s pastime. For generations, fans have flocked to ballparks across the country with roughly 68.5 million fans taking in a game throughout 2019. Many partake in a cold drink when attending a Major League game. With baseball being a summer sport, it is commonplace for concession stands to be stocked full of cool refreshing beverages, eager to quench the fanbase’s thirst.
And yet, have you ever stopped and wondered how your drink cup is being disposed of? Is that disposal method harmful to the planet? Well thanks to a groundbreaking partnership between the Milwaukee Brewers and SC Johnson, you no longer have to stress about the environmental aftermath of your ballpark beverage.
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 incorporate the recycled plastic in Scrubbing Bubbles® bottles.
With the ballpark expending more than 1 million cups per season, this forward-thinking endeavor will help bridge the gap between recycling habits and how those recycled items are utilized moving forward, opening up a new market for the reuse of plastic waste. The 1 million-plus cups used yearly is a sizeable number when you consider the fact that only 13% of plastic packaging is recycled, not to mention that most of the material placed into mixed recycling bins cannot be recycled at all.
The partnership is a sign of a joined commitment between the two organizations geared towards bettering the planet. With the joint effort serving as a powerful collaboration, it echoes each entity’s individual vision at spreading the world of sustainability and creating waste-reducing solutions.
“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 CEO of SC Johnson.
The Brewers approached the partnership with an understanding and appreciation for SC Johnson’s dedication to raising awareness and industry leading work around the world to help address the ocean plastics crisis. The two organizations collaborated to determine how the partnership would have maximum impact both locally and on a national scale.
For the Brewers, pitcher Brent Suter serves as an activist for spreading environmental consciousness. Suter spearheaded his own initiative Strike Out Waste. The campaign is aimed at assisting fellow Brewers players to limit their plastic usage inside the ballpark as well as encouraging the community to donate to Milwaukee based Urban Ecology Center to promote further environmental education.
“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,” said Suter.
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. For decades, SC Johnson has been incorporating post-consumer recycled plastic from a variety of sources into its packaging as 94% of the company’s plastic packaging is recyclable, reusable, or compostable and has stated that percentage will jump to 100% by 2025. Additionally, 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.
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.
From left to right: Brewers Pitcher Brent Suter, SC Johnson Chairman and CEO Fisk Johnson, Brewers Pitcher Corey Knebel, and Brewers President of Business Operations Rick Schlesinger announce partnership at Miller Park.
Brewers' fans can feel at ease knowing their team is doing its part to help minimize waste and maximize the refurbishing of plastic usage. So this season, head on down to Miller Park, grab a beer or soda, and say a “cheers!” It’s for the environment.