Waste Not Georgia
| NEWS RELEASE
April 18, 2001
| Contact: Lance King - (703) 536-7282
or Bill Sheehan - (706) 613-7121
Pepsi 'Broke Recycling
Environmental Groups Claim
Shareholder Resolution Focuses Attention on Pepsi's Bottle and Can
ATLANTA, GA (April 27, 2001)
Inc. (Ticker: PEP) broke its 1990 promise to make soda bottles with 25
percent recycled plastic and the company has spent millions of dollars
lobbying against recycling legislation, environmental leaders said today.
"More than 1.6 million Pepsi soda bottles and cans are thrown away
every hour in the United States. In one day, more than 40 million Pepsi
soft drink containers become litter or get sent to landfills and incinerators,"
said Bill Sheehan, national network coordinator for the Athens, Georgia-based
GrassRoots Recycling Network.
"It's time for Pepsi to take responsibility for wasting billions
of beverage containers each year. We urge Pepsi shareholders to vote for
the recycling proposal, proxy item Number 6, at the annual shareholder
meeting in Dallas, Texas on May 2," Sheehan said.
PepsiCo is the nation's second largest beverage maker. PepsiCo shareholders
can vote via the Internet for the recycling proposal by going to the GrassRoots
Recycling Network web site, at www.grrn.org.
"We have targeted Pepsi for several reasons. First, because Pepsi
broke its 1990 promise to use recycled plastic in making new soda bottles.
Second, because the company increasingly relies on throwaway plastic bottles,
and three out of four end up in landfills or incinerators. Third, because
Pepsi has spent millions of dollars to defeat the most effective beverage
container recycling laws in the nation - bottle bills," said Lance
King, a spokesman for environmental groups supporting the shareholder
Walden Asset Management of Boston, and Domini Social Investments of New
York, which together own $20 million worth of PepsiCo stock, submitted
the shareholder resolution. The non-binding resolution calls for PepsiCo
to meet two specific recycling goals by January 1, 2005:
Pepsi plastic bottles with 25 percent recycled plastic; and
an 80 percent national recycling rate for bottles and cans.
PepsiCo recycling resolution is similar to one introduced at the April
18 Coke shareholder meeting. That proposal received 5.2% 'Yes" votes,
representing 88.9 million shares worth more than $4 billion.
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola both promised in 1990 to use 25% recycled plastic
in their plastic bottles. Coke recently started using a small amount of
recycled plastic in the United States, and CEO Doug Daft announced at
the April 18 meeting that Coke has set a 10% recycled content goal by
2005 for their plastic bottles.
Environmental groups led by the GrassRoots Recycling Network have waged
a four-year campaign targeting Coca-Cola to take responsibility for rising
beverage container waste and declining recycling rates.
"Coke has been the focus of our campaign because they are the market
leader, with 44% of the U.S. soft drink market. Pepsi, with 31% market
share, has done nothing. Pepsi has gotten a free ride. But that is about
to change," said Sheehan.
"Plastics are now the largest portion of beverage container waste
in the United States.," Pat Franklin, executive director of the Arlington,
Virginia-based Container Recycling Institute said. "Beverage container
waste increased more than 50 percent from 1992 to 1999. Pepsi is a big
part of the problem."
"Pepsi needs to take responsibility for its bottle and can waste.
Throwing away billions of bottles and cans every year burdens local government
and taxpayers with clean-up costs, pollutes the environment, and squanders
valuable energy needed to make new containers from virgin resources,"
"The shareholder resolutions set realistic goals, based on actual
experience. Plastic soda bottles are made with 25 percent recycled plastic
in several countries, including Australia, Switzerland and Sweden. Coke
has started using recycled plastic again in the United States, while Pepsi
shirks its responsibility," Bob Woodall, executive director of Atlanta,
Georgia-based Waste Not Georgia, said.
"Ten states across America already achieve an 80 percent recycling
rate for bottles and cans by requiring a refundable deposit on beverage
containers. The key to increase recycling on a national basis is providing
appropriate financial incentives," Woodall said.
PepsiCo's recent acquisition of Gatorade brand, the sports drink leader,
is both good news and bad news from a recycling perspective. "Gatorade
reportedly uses some recycled plastic in making its bottles. However,
more than 80 percent of Gatorade plastic bottles get thrown away, because
only 2 states require a refundable deposit on this type of beverage,"
Sheehan said. "Non-carbonated drinks, like teas, sports drinks and
water, are the fastest growing portion of the beverage market, and the
fastest growing contributor to beverage container waste."
more information on the shareholder campaign, visit the Internet at: