Just days after it was announced that one Wisconsin company’s name would be added to the Milwaukee Brewers’ stadium, the team has unveiled a unique partnership with another notable Badger State business.
Beginning this coming season, the Brewers will team with Racine-based SC Johnson to turn the more than one million plastic cups you use at the ballpark into new bottles for SC Johnson’s iconic Scrubbing Bubbles cleaning product.
The cups will be collected in special receptacles that will keep them separate from other waste (please do your best not to contaminate the containers with other trash) and SC Johnson will collect the cups and recycle them into new-use containers.
According to the Brewers, this is the first time a U.S. professional sports team is closing the recycling loop by partnering to convert its waste into a specific product.
The team notes that a lack of buyers for used plastic is one of the biggest hurdles in recycling. A mere 13 percent of plastic packaging is actually recycled in this country.
"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, who notes that in addition to using recycled plastic, the Racine-born company has also been working to reduce plastics in its products and to create compostable plastics.
Though it has long used post-consumer recycled plastic, since 2015, SC Johnson has used 100 percent of that material for its Windex product line. The company’s products also include compostable plastic bags, reusable silicon bags, recyclable paper bags and concentrated liquid refills.
"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 Brewers pitcher Brent Suter, who has BS in environmental science from Harvard University, and launched Strike Out Waste last year as means to reduce plastic use among players at the stadium and at home.
"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."
Among the other initiatives on which the Brewers and SC Johnson will partner this year include special "Clean Up Days," "philanthropic contributions with select players for heightened education and awareness," and a program in which SC Johnson will make a donation to Players for the Planet for each save recorded by a Brewers reliever.
Players for the Planet works to reduce plastic pollution in the earth’s oceans.
"The Green Sports Alliance commends the Milwaukee Brewers MLB leadership team and SC Johnson for demonstrating the power of collaboration in creating a closed loop business model that decreases landfill waste," said Green Sports Alliance Executive Director Roger McClendon.
"This sets a great example for sports and business industries to pause and evaluate the traditional mindset of the ‘take, make, consume, and throw away pattern,’ and move toward a zero waste circular economy."
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.