Starting today, your empty cans and bottles can help the people of Ukraine.
The Oregon Beverage Recycling Cooperative announced that anyone in the state can now ask to have the deposit refund from their redeemable beverage containers go toward Mercy Corps’ relief efforts in response to the Russian invasion.
Those who wish to participate simply need to take their empties to a BottleDrop redemption center and let the staff there know they would like to donate them to the humanitarian organization rather than collect the deposit. BottleDrop’s 810,000 green bag account holders can also go online and direct their funds to the mission.
Between now and April 10, OBRC is matching those donations 1 to 1, as well as contributing $25,000 from its emergency fund to Mercy Corps’ work on the ground in Europe.
“A devastating catastrophe is unfolding in Ukraine and in the region, costing and threatening lives and livelihoods, driving families apart and causing mass displacement,” Lynn Hector, director of communications at Mercy Corps, stated in a press release. “We are grateful for the immense generosity we’re seeing from people globally and here in our hometown community and across the State of Oregon to support our efforts to help Ukrainians in urgent need of assistance.”
The nonprofit has deployed teams to Ukraine, Poland and Romania to assist Ukrainian refugees and those who are still trying to make it out of the country. Over 3 million people have fled Ukraine since Feb. 24, making it the fastest-growing refugee crisis in Europe since World War II. The United Nations estimates that 10 million Ukrainians—a quarter of the population—could be displaced both inside and outside of the country.
“We are devastated by the tragedy in Ukraine, and we wanted to find a way to engage the BottleDrop network and help Ukrainians seeking safety,” added Eric Chambers, director of external relations at OBRC. “Oregonians routinely put their bottles and cans to great use supporting nonprofits and community organizations. Now we have a chance to use our BottleDrop funds and redeemable containers to help our distant neighbors in Ukraine during this horrible crisis.”