Keep America Beautiful deals might have its old symbol crying again

Keep American Beautiful has an image problem
Keep American Beautiful has an image problem

The national anti-littering group Keep America Beautiful (KAB) recently announced that it was teaming up with the world's largest beverage company, Coca-Cola, to hand out 82 Recycling Bin Grants to community groups and local governments. "We hope this program will encourage communities to expand recycling," said April Crow, sustainable packaging manager at Coke.

It's easy to feel good about this initiative, and a similar one with bottled water giant Nestlé Waters. Isn't this how private enterprise is supposed to work--big companies using their profits to support the public good? With corporate help, KAB (best known for its "crying Indian" anti-littering public service announcements featuring "Iron Eyes" Cody) and its 23 state affiliates in 2009 leveraged community volunteer time to collect 102,000 batteries, recycle 6.9 million pounds of electronics, retire 12,300 derelict automobiles, and haul in a whopping 243 million PET bottles.