| IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2002
| Contact: Lance King - (703) 536-7282
or (706) 613-7121
Coke and Pepsi
Responsible for "Trashing America" Hurting Taxpayers and Environment
New York, NY -- Coke
and Pepsi are responsible for a dramatic increase in packaging waste over
the last ten years, hurting taxpayers and the environment. Launching a
new national campaign with an advertisement on the New York Times 'Op
Ed' page today, two national organizations charge Coke and Pepsi with
"Coke and Pepsi waste from used aluminum cans, plastic and glass bottles
doubled between 1992 and 2000, according to industry data. A financial
incentive is urgently needed to reverse the decline in bottle and can
recycling rates. Ten states with refundable deposits on beverage containers
recycle more bottles and cans than the other 40 states put together, at
almost no cost to taxpayers," Pat Franklin, executive director of the
Container Recycling Institute, said today.
"We've chosen to launch a new national campaign in New York City today
because decisions here about handling beverage containers have national
New York State is one of ten states with a beverage container deposit
law, popularly known as the bottle bill. Deposit laws achieve the highest
rates of recycling in the nation - 78 percent on average. Coke and Pepsi
have fought these laws for more than 30 years, and want to roll back this
sound environmental policy," Franklin said.
The Container Recycling Institute is a national, nonprofit research and
education organization, based in Arlington, Virginia. It received a grant
from the Florence Fund for the issue advocacy advertisement placed in
the New York Times today.
"We believe that companies producing and selling beverages must be made
accountable for their packaging waste. The principle is known as producer
responsibility, which is a growing trend in policies adopted around the
world," GrassRoots Recycling Network Executive Director Bill Sheehan said.
"Our goal is achieving an 80 percent national recycling rate for aluminum
cans, plastic and glass bottles, roughly double the current rate," Sheehan
"While litter and landfill waste are the first ways most people think
about recycling of beverage containers, the environmental footprint left
by throwing away millions of bottles and cans every hour is really much
bigger than that. We have a choice to pursue an 80 percent national recycling
rate, and save the equivalent of 640 million barrels of oil in the next
decade, or leave a legacy of waste," CRI Senior Policy Analyst Lance King
The Container Recycling Institute and GrassRoots Recycling Network are
launching a new Internet website today as part of their joint campaign:
On Wednesday, April 17 leaders from both organizations plan to carry their
message to The Coca-Cola Company annual meeting at Madison Square Garden,
where they will urge shareholders to support a recycling resolution.
In Hawaii, the Legislature is poised to adopt the first new state deposit
law in 16 years, but Coke and Pepsi are leading the battle to defeat it
between now and when the legislators adjourn on May 2nd.
"Earlier this month, the beverage and grocery industries waged the first
successful campaign to repeal a deposit law - the nation's only local
deposit ordinance in Columbia, Missouri," King said. "The most disturbing
aspect is the way corporate money and a campaign based on deception corrupted
the democratic process."
"Next week, CRI and GRRN will carry concerns about Coke and Pepsi waste
to the nation's capital. We will advocate a new policy approach, based
on producer responsibility for product and packaging waste," Sheehan said.
The Container Recycling Institute plans to release a series of reports
in coming months on the growing beverage container waste problem, deposit
laws worldwide, and an examination of the 30-year war waged by Coke and
Pepsi against deposit laws," Franklin said.
For more information about the Container
Recycling Institute, visit the Internet at:
For more information on GRRN, visit the Internet at: www.grrn.org.
Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo shareholders can vote for the recycling
resolutions by going to: www.saveabottle.org
and selecting the proxy voting links.