Coca-Cola Campaign
Cover Letter

[This is the original cover-letter that started it all back in the beginning of the campaign]


Dear Friends,

      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.

      Companies like 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.

      The GrassRoots 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

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