FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
||Contacts: Lance King (703) 241-4927|
|March 9, 2000
||Rick Best (916) 443-5422|
Recycling Groups Raise Concerns About National
Roll-out of Miller Plastic Beer Bottle
Washington, DC - Today, Miller Brewing Company announced a national
roll-out of the plastic beer bottle. Over the past several months, Miller
has worked to address some of the concerns of recyclers by committing to
use recycled plastic in making bottles and to use new, recycling-compatible
plastic caps and labels.
"The use of recycled content by Miller is an especially important element
to addressing market demand for recycling the new plastic beer bottle. These
are important steps to address the recycling concerns. Miller should be
commended," said Rick Best, President of the GrassRoots Recycling Network
(GRRN) and Policy Director for Californians Against Waste.
"Major issues remain about the impact of Miller's bottles on recycling,"
said Best. "Miller's amber bottle will continue to impose substantial new
costs on recycling systems for cities. Many communities cannot afford to
subsidize costs to sort amber colored bottles, costs which may be as high
as 5 to 6 cents per pound."
"Miller has commendably made a start to acknowledge this by offering a premium
this year for their bottle, but recyclers have seen similar promises broken,"
said Best. "Miller needs to make a binding commitment that it will not continue
to market its bottle without continuing a premium adequate to reimburse
the communities for those additional costs."
"Manufacturers like Miller must acknowledge that plastics recycling continues
to struggle relative to other materials such aluminum and glass," said Dr.
Bill Sheehan, GRRN's Network Coordinator. "The majority of PET plastics
recycling is occurring in the state's with bottle deposit legislation. Unless
efforts are undertaken to address producer responsibility for recycling,
plastics waste will continue to increase."
"While Miller has stated its intention to use recycled content in its plastic
bottles, Miller has not specified the amount of recycled material that will
be used," said Best. "GRRN is continuing to seek a commitment by Miller
to use a significant level such as 25% recycled content which has been demonstrated
in other plastic bottles."
In November 1998, Miller Brewing Company began testmarketing a new plastic
beer bottle. In response, the GrassRoots Recycling Network and others in
the recycling community raised a number of concerns about the recyclability
of the new bottle and urged Miller to make the following commitments before
rolling out the new plastic bottle nationwide:
- Ensure that the Miller bottle is compatible with the current recycled
- Ensure that the bottle will not increase processing costs or downgrade
the quality or market price of recovered PET for local governments and
- Use at least 25 percent recycled content in all bottles.
In February 1999, Council Member Ruth Galanter sponsored a resolution in
the Los Angeles City Council raising similar concerns and calling on Miller
to address recyclability concerns and commit to using 25% recycled content
before introducing the bottle nationwide. For more information, see www.grrn.org
The GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) is a North American network of recycling
and community?based activists dedicated to achieving a sustainable economy
based on the principle of zero waste. GRRN advocates policies and practices
to promote producer responsibility for product and packaging waste, to end
corporate welfare for waste, and to create sustainable jobs from discards.
GRRN was founded in 1995 by members of the Sierra Club Solid Waste Committee,
the Institute for Local Self?Reliance, and the California Resource Recovery