of Bottles and Cans, Groups Say
Shareholders Press for Recycling Goals in Annual Meeting
DALLAS, TX (May 2, 2001) -- PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Roger Enrico and the company's board of directors were pressed today by investors and environmentalists to adopt recycling goals during the annual shareholder meeting.
"We opened a discussion today between shareholders and management on Pepsi's dismal recycling record and the growing waste problem. The investment funds sponsoring the recycling proposal clearly believe that protecting the environment and making healthy profits go hand in hand," said Bill Sheehan, network coordinator for the GrassRoots Recycling Network.
Walden Asset Management (Boston) and Domini Social Investments (New York) are the primary co-sponsors of the shareholder recycling proposal (Proxy Item Number 6) on the PepsiCo, Inc. (Ticker: PEP) annual shareholder meeting agenda. The proposal calls for PepsiCo to meet specific recycling goals by January 1, 2005, including:
Making bottles with 25 percent recycled plastic; and
Kenneth Scott, research analyst with Walden Asset Management, made the presentation on behalf of shareholders who hold more than 400,000 shares of PepsiCo. Scott focused on the growing plastic bottle waste problem, noting industry data showing that "an estimated three-quarters of the used plastic bottles end up in incinerators or landfills."
He pressed for PepsiCo to adopt a goal for 'closed loop' recycling, making new bottles with recycled plastic. "Our main competitor, Coca-Cola, uses 10 percent recycled content in some of its bottles. Other beverage containers at home and abroad use 25 percent recycled content. PepsiCo lags far behind," Scott said.
Walden and Domini have both been critical of PepsiCo's opposition to laws requiring a refundable deposit on beverage containers, laws popularly known as bottle bills.
"More than 5 million Pepsi soda bottles and cans will be thrown away rather than recycled during the course of this meeting," said Pat Franklin, executive director of the Container Recycling Institute, based in Arlington, Virginia.
"Wasting of beverage containers increased more than 50 percent since 1992. Growing reliance on single-serving throwaway packaging is the biggest problem, particularly plastic bottles. PepsiCo needs to take responsibility for its waste by taking a leadership role in creating financial incentives that will increase recycling," Franklin said.
and can litter is a growing problem of special concern to Georgia environmentalist
Bob Woodall. "One-way, disposable containers used by PepsiCo are
thrown on the streets of metro Atlanta, in parks, along highways, and
on farmland and beaches. Litter is one of the primary reasons for the
passage of most bottle bill laws. When
"Whatever the final vote tally at today's shareholder meeting, we consider the debate a step forward. During the last 4 years, the GrassRoots Recycling Network led a campaign targeting Coca-Cola's bottle waste. Coke is finally starting to address the issue. Now we're turning the spotlight on Pepsi," Sheehan said.
The GrassRoots Recycling Network presented a letter to the PepsiCo Board of Directors signed by 98 public officials, government agencies, businesses, environmental organizations, student and community groups in support of the shareholder recycling proposal.
For more information on the Pepsi and Coke campaigns visit us on the Internet at: www.grrn.org/media.
A campaign spokesperson will be available following the PepsiCo shareholder vote to offer reaction.
more information on the shareholder campaign, visit the Internet at: