[This is the original cover-letter that started it all back in the
beginning of the campaign]
We are writing to enlist your support
in a national consumer campaign targeting the Coca-Cola
Company's wasteful plastic packaging. Coca-Cola
broke its 1990 promise to use recycled plastic soda bottles
to make new bottles.
Now, eight years
later, Coke produces over 20 million
plastic soda bottles every day in the United States (that's eight
billion a year!) - and none of them contains a single ounce of recycled
plastic. As a result, billions of bottles are wasted each
year. At the same time, the plastics industry churns out more
bottles made from non-renewable resources and creates more toxic
pollutants in the process.
The campaign demands
that Coca-Cola take responsibility
for its plastic soda bottles. We call it the Coke
- Take It Back! Campaign, in which
consumers mail back empty bottles with the message "Take
It Back and Use It Again."
While the message
is simple, there are larger policy issues involved. We want
to communicate that companies have a responsibility for product
and packaging waste. The jargon for this policy is "producer
responsibility" or "manufacturer responsibility." In some
countries producer responsibility is mandatory. The European
Community is well along the path toward implementing such policies.
Coca-Cola made voluntary promises
in the early 1990's to reduce and reuse packaging waste. More
recently though, there has been a recycling backlash with many in
industry backing away from earlier commitments and some successful
efforts to weaken or gut recycling laws.
Whether you consume
Coke products or not, the waste
touches every community in the nation. Coca-Cola
is the dominant player in the soft drink marketplace, with a 44
percent market share.
Recycling Network developed an Activist
Campaign Kit so that groups like yours could join us in
creating an effective national consumer campaign bringing an end
to Coke's wasteful plastic packaging
practices. We hope your organization will add its name to
the growing list of groups endorsing
the Coke - Take
It Back! Campaign, and will lead or participate in local
media events aimed at informing the public that Coke
broke its promise to recycle. Please contact us via
e-mail at: (Bill Sheehan)
OR via phone at (706) 613-7121.
Rick Best, Chair
Bill Sheehan, PhD, Network Coordinator