COKE'S BROKEN PROMISE


   Coca-Cola Campaign   

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We Want The Coca-Cola Company To Do ... THE REAL THING!

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's leading soft drink manufacturer. In December 1990 it announced that it would begin using recycled plastics (PET) in its bottles, but it has not followed through. The technology to make 100% recycled-content plastic bottles has been available in the United States since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its approval in 1994 for food contact applications.

Presently Coca-Cola uses plastic bottles with recycled content in New Zealand, in Australia, and in several European countries. If it does the same here, Coca-Cola can immediately keep millions of pounds of plastic out of landfills and incinerators each year.

ACTION: Give Coca-Cola a call at (800) 571-2653 and tell them to keep their promise to use recycled plastic--always. or E-MAIL Mr. Ivester (the Chairman and CEO) at fctc_cocacola@em.fcnbd.com Tell them to do the Real Thing: RECYCLE! Tell Them To Use (PET) in bottles!

COKE CAMPAIGN OVERVIEW

POLICY ISSUES

The key policy for groups supporting the campaign is holding consumer product manufacturers responsible for product and packaging waste, as well as the often more important environmental, social and economic costs of extracting natural resources and processing them. In the case of Coca-Cola, the campaign is a protest of the wasteful corporate push to use non-recycled plastic bottles.

Targeting Coca-Cola focuses public and governmental attention on the need for voluntary or mandatory producer responsibility. Coca-Cola promised voluntary action in 1990 in the face of probable state and federal mandates. When the threat appeared to recede Coke quietly abandoned its program. By exposing corporate backsliding on environmental commitments by a consumer product industry giant, the campaign is sending a message to the industry as a whole.

PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH PLASTIC COKE BOTTLES

1. RECYCLING AND PACKAGING WASTE

Coca-Cola is abandoning the decades old practice of packaging its soft drinks in recycled content containers (aluminum cans and glass bottles) in favor of non-recycled plastic. The impact of Coke's action is undermining a large part of our nation's recycling infrastructure.

- Plastic waste is increasing ten times faster than recycling of plastic soda bottles. Coke used 600 million pounds of PET plastic in 1997 to make soda bottles sold in the United States, which is more than the entire amount of PET soda bottles recycled that year.

- Recycling rates for PET soda bottles have dropped 3 years in a row, from a peak of 50 percent to only 36 percent in 1997. Coke is the industry leader with 45 percent market share. So its packaging choices affect the entire industry.

2. HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS

- The most serious health and environmental impacts associated with packaging choices, and Coke's plastic soda bottle in particular, stem from extraction of non-renewable resources (oil and gas for the plastics industry), energy consumption in manufacturing (production of virgin PET plastic is highly energy intensive), and in the refining of raw materials and industrial processes used to produce plastics (production of PET for soda bottles and associated materials generate toxic chemicals posing a risk to worker safety and public health). Recycled PET reduces all of the associated health and environmental impacts compared to production of PET from raw materials.

3. CORPORATE ACCOUNTABILITY

- Coca-Cola is a highly visible example of an increasing number of multinational corporations that have broken environmental commitments. If one of the most admired corporations in America can drop a commitment on an issue of bedrock consensus (recycling) without penalty, that gives a green light for other corporations to do follow suit.

- Holding corporations accountable for wasteful products and packaging, and encouraging or requiring redesign of products to eliminate or reduce waste, is an important action to reverse the exploitation of natural resources and attendant pollution that is ruining the forests and wild habitats that we all value.

- The campaign links the most popular environmental symbol -- recycling -- with fundamental solutions (rather than end-of-the-pipe fixes) to basic environmental problems.

WHAT SORT OF GROUPS SUPPORT THE CAMPAIGN?

National environmental and consumer organizations, including Earth Island Institute, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace Toxics Campaign, Coop America, and Clean Water Action chapters. Student groups, including PIRGs, SEAC chapters. Numerous community recycling organizations and businesses (87 organizations and leaders as of January 10, 1999).

IS THE CAMPAIGN A BOYCOTT?

Not at this time. The campaign is a consumer action in which the major action is mailing plastic soda bottles. v DO PARTICIPANTS HAVE TO BUY COKES?

No. People can scavenge empty plastic Coke bottles. Unfortunately, finding littered bottles is all too easy.

WHY NOT INCLUDE PEPSI?

Coca-Cola is the market giant: Globally, Coke has 50 percent of the world soft drink market compared to Pepsi's 20 percent. What Coke does, Pepsi will follow. In 1990, Coke and Pepsi's announcements of plans to start using recycled plastic followed each other within 20 minutes.

Give Coca-Cola a call at (800) 571-2653 and tell them to keep their promise to use recycled plastic--always. or E-MAIL Mr. Ivester (the Chairman and CEO) at fctc_cocacola@em.fcnbd.com

   Coca-Cola Campaign   

TAKE ACTION NOW!




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