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BENTONVILLE, Ark. - A coalition including Sam's Club and the Aquafina water brand is turning plastic bottles into community action to help keep needy children warm.
During Keep America Beautiful's Great American Cleanup, the coalition diverted over 37 million plastic (PET) bottles from the waste stream to "Return the Warmth" to participating communities across the United States. The program provides incentives for local, school-based PET recycling projects, and furnishes those communities with 100,000 fleece jackets, made from recycled PET.
KAB local affiliates urged local schools to take part in the "Return the Warmth" recycling program, which took place during the Great American Cleanup, the United States' biggest community improvement program. As well as providing the donated fleece jackets, Sam's Club gave the 50 schools that collected the most PET bottles $1,000 grants, in the form of the retailer's gift cards.
The Great American Cleanup takes place annually from March 1 through May 31. During that time Stamford, Conn.-based KAB works with national sponsors and local community-based organizations to run 30,000 events in 15,000 communities.
"Our Sam's Club Associates did a terrific job of supporting the Return the Warmth program. We congratulate them and thank Keep America Beautiful volunteers for their productive efforts," noted Sam's Club president and c.e.o. Doug McMillon.