SACRAMENTO, CA - The GrassRoots Recycling Network today challenged
the environmental record of The Coca-Cola Company, charging that the
company’s failure to fulfill its 1990 promise to use recycled plastic
in its soda bottles has hurt recycling programs around the country.
The group expanded its national media campaign by placing a full-page
ad in the West Coast edition of the New York Times, entitled
"Coke’s Broken Promise."
"We are running a full page ad in the New York Times today to lay out the public record on 'Coke's broken promise' to recycle and the way it hurts taxpayers, recycling, and the environment," said Rick Best, president of the GrassRoots Recycling Network and policy director for the Sacramento-based Californians Against Waste. "Coke is failing to live up to its ‘pro-environment’ image."
While telling consumers to "Please Recycle," Coca-Cola has spent tens of millions of dollars over the past 30 years to defeat legislation requiring deposits on beverage containers to increase recycling. And now Coke wants to claim credit for the results of those deposit programs.
"Coca-Cola is deceiving the public when it claims credit for beverage container recycling rates. Coke is a leader today and over the last 30 years, in nearly every major legislative campaign to defeat beverage container deposit legislation," said Best.
"The evidence is clear that the 10 states with deposit laws have recycling rates for beverage containers of 85 percent overall, compared to only 35 percent in states without deposits," said Best.
Since the GrassRoots Recycling Network expanded its campaign by placing advertisements targeting 'Coke's broken promise' to recycle plastic bottles, Coke has tried to change the subject to focus other aspects of the company's environmental record.
"The fact remains that Coke’s failure to use recycle plastic and their lobbying campaigns against deposit legislation is hurting recycling," said GRRN Consultant Lance King.
"The Coca-Cola Company is leading the industry in the wrong direction, away from recycled glass bottles and recycled aluminum cans, to plastics bottles made with no recycled material," said King.
Local government agencies in 3 states agree and have passed resolutions asking Coke to take responsibility for its plastic bottle waste -- 'closing the loop' by making new bottles with recycled plastic.
"Recycling rates for plastic soda bottles have dropped 4 years in a row, since Coke stopped using recycled plastic. Coke's CEO, Mr. Ivester, needs to take responsibility for the growth in plastic bottle waste. Otherwise, legislators like those in California and Wisconsin may require Coke and other food and beverage companies to boost plastics recycling and use recycled plastics," Best said.