[Letter to Coke CEO Douglas Daft on 4-19-00 with list of endorsing organizations following.]

April 19, 2000

Mr. Douglas N. Daft
Chairman, Board of Directors, and
   Chief Executive Officer
The Coca-Cola Company
One Coca-Cola Plaza
Atlanta, Georgia 30313

Dear Mr. Daft:

We are writing this letter regarding the growing problem of beverage container waste resulting from Coca-Cola's increasing reliance on plastic bottles made primarily from virgin resources. As the U.S. and worldwide leader in the soft drink industry, your actions affect the entire industry and the packaging choices of many other consumer product companies.

After 5 years in which Coca-Cola used little or no recycled plastic in its bottles, we were encouraged by recent news reports stating that Coke would aim to use between 10 and 25 percent recycled plastic. Several stories said Coke plans to use 10 percent recycled plastic in the year 2000. But we have since learned that Coca-Cola may use as little as 2.5 percent recycled plastic this year, based upon to a letter dated April 14, 2000, from your Director of Corporate Environmental Affairs, Jeff Foote.

We now believe that Coke's initial statements to the Associated Press and other news organizations were misleading. We believe your company's failure to correct these news reports damages Coca-Cola's credibility.

It's time for you to make a clear public statement regarding Coke's commitment to use increasing amounts of recycled plastic and to reversing the 5-year decline in plastic soda bottle recycling rates. We are asking Coca-Cola to commit to using significant amounts of post-consumer recycled plastic, such as Coke's promise in 1990 to make bottles with 25 percent recycled plastic, and commit to doubling recycling rates over the next several years so that the majority of bottles get recycled.

Recycling rates for plastic soda bottles dropped in each of the last 5 years, as reliance on plastic bottles made with virgin resin increased dramatically. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data shows that recycling rates for plastic soda bottles dropped from the peak of 53.3 percent in 1994 to just 35.5 percent in 1997. Without greater financial incentives to collect and recycle these plastic bottles the waste from these containers will continue to grow.

We agree with statements that Coke does not want to "displace" the post-consumer bottle supply for businesses currently using recycled soda bottles. The key is boosting the number of bottles collected and recycling rates overall.

Coming to grips with the plastic bottle waste problem means Coca-Cola needs to address the growing bottle collection crisis. We believe consumer product companies like Coca-Cola are responsible for the adverse environmental and economic impacts of your packaging choices. Recycling plastic beverage containers costs more than local government and recycling collection businesses receive for the containers. It is unacceptable to push these costs on local governments and taxpayers, while reaping the profits from this wasteful packaging.

Plastic bottle recycling is a shared responsibility requiring active participation by product manufacturers, consumers, local governments and businesses engaged in collecting and processing bottles. Coca-Cola must take an active role in developing systems to increase both the number and percentage of plastic bottles recycled in the United States.


Rick Best, President
GrassRoots Recycling Network

Wendy Wendlandt, President
Earth Day 2000

Andy MacDonald, Director


99 public bodies, businesses & organizations as of 4/18/2000

Lead Organizations

GrassRoots Recycling Network (Rick Best, President, 916-443-5422)
Earth Day 2000 (Wendy Wendlandt, President, 1-877-EARTH46)
ecopledge.com (Andy MacDonald, Director, 617-747-4352)

Public Bodies, Corporation & Citizen Organizations

City of West Hollywood, CA (Jeffrey Prang, Mayor)
San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority, CA (William Worrell, Manager)
Working Assets Long Distance, CA (Larry Litvak, CFO)
Clean Water Action, DC (David Zwick, President)
Campus Green Vote, MA (Rani Corey, Director)
20/20 Vision -Georgia, GA (Joan O King)
Action for a Clean Environment, GA (Adele Kushner)
Anson County CACTUS, NC (Denise Lee, President)
Audubon Society. Palos Verdes/South Bay, CA (Lillian Light, Conservation Chair)
BRING Recycling, OR (Julie Daniel, General Manger)
CALPIRG, CA (Dan Jacobson, Director)
City of Berkeley Solid Waste Management Commission, CA (Kristine Johnson, Chair)
Clean Water Action of Rhode Island, RI (Aimee Tavares, Director)
Container Recycling Institute, VA (Pat Franklin, Executive Director)
Colorado Public Interest Research Group/COPIRG, CO (Rich McClintock, Director)
Dogwood Alliance, NC (Danna Smith, Director)
ecopledge.com, CA (Ben Prochazka)
Eco-Cycle, CO (Eric Lombardi, Executive Director)
Ecology Center-Berkeley, CA (Kathy Hutton, Executive Director)
Environmental Advocates of New York State, NY (David Higby, Solid Waste Project Director)
Flowerfield Enterprises, Inc., MI (Mary Appelhof)
Friends of Georgia, GA (John Geiger)
Full Circle Environmental, Inc., WA (David Stitzhal, President)
Global Waste Recycling, Inc, CA (Judi Gregory, President)
Illinois PIRG, IL (Diane Brown, Director)
Infinity Recycling, Inc., MD (Ford Schumann, Jr., President)
Indiana Public Interest Research Group/ INPIRG, IN (James Kocher, Treasurer)
Institute for Local Self Reliance, DC (Dr. Neil Seldman, President)
Intra-State Recycling Corporation, WI (Karin Sieg)
J. Edwards & Associates, Inc., CA (Joan Edwards, Principal)
Livewell Environmental Designs & Resources, VA (Lance King, Principal)
Manhattan Citizens' Solid Waste Advisory Board, NY (Robert E. Roistacher, Chair)
Maryland PIRG, MD (Lea Johnson, Associate Director)
MASSPIRG, MA (Janet Domenitz, Director)
Materials for the Future Foundation, CA (Linda Christopher, Program Director)
National Forest Protection Alliance, MT (Jake Kreilick, Campaign Coordinator)
Native Forest Network, MT (Matthew Koehler)
Northern California Recycling Association, CA (Linda Christopher)
NYPIRG, NY (Laura Haight, Senior Environmental Assoc.)
Olam Echad - Jewish Environmental Group, AZ (Tsedek Greenberg)
Oregon State Public Interest Research Group, OR (Maureen Kirk, Executive Director)
Pennsylvania PIRG, PA (David Masur, Director)
Planning & Conservation League, CA (Sandra Spelliscy, General Counsel)
Queens Solid Waste Advisory Board, NY (Robert A LoPinto, PE, Chairperson)
Recycling Initiative Campaign of Massachusetts, MA (Vivien Watts)
Richard Anthony Associates, CA (Rick Anthony, Principal)
Rural Recycling Institute, NC (Dr. John Hannon Martin, Director)
Sierra Club, Georgia Chapter, GA (Larry Winslett, Conservation Chair)
Sierra Club, Volusia Flagler, FL (Larry Marsh, Chair)
Sierra Club, Wisconsin River Country Group, WI (Richard R Wentzel)
Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition, CA (Ted Smith, Executive Director)
SLV Redemption/Recycling Centers, CA (Nancy Macy, Director of Recycling)
St. John Citizens for Environmental Justice, LA (Shay Clark)
State PIRGs (Ivan Frishberg, State PIRGs Director)
Toxics Action Center, MA (Matthew Wilson, Director)
Trinidad and Tobago International, NY (Horace Morancie, President)
U.S. PIRG -Southeast, GA (Robert Pregulman, Field Director)
Washington PIRG. WA (Parker Blackman, Director)
Waste Not Georgia, GA (Bob Woodall Chair)
Waukesha County Environmental Action League, WI (Charlene Lemoine)

Colleges & School Organizations

Amherst College MASSPIRG, MA (Amber Young)
Arizona State University, Southwest Center for Education & the Natural Environment, AZ
(Dr. Kathryn Kyle, Executive Administrator)
California Institute of Technology Environmental Task Force, CA (Jennie C Stephens)
CARICOM People's Movement, (Gloria Church, Chairperson)
Clarkson University ECO, NY (Chad Bennett)
Eckerd College Earth Society (Molly Rockamann )
Edgewood College Free The Planet! (Rebecca Liebl)
Free The Planet, DC (Christy Leavitt, Director)
Georgetown University Eco-Action, DC (Elaine Magil)
Georgia Student Environmental Action Coalition, GA
Harvard University ecopledge.com Campaign, MA (Sarah Robinson)
Ithaca College Environmental Society, NY (Anna Ehrlich)
Mount Holyoke College MASSPIRG, MA (Emily Bieber)
Mount Holyoke College Student Coalition of Action, MA (Autumn Gonzalez)
Northern Arizona Univ. SEC, AZ (Ryan Phillips)
Northern Arizona University Free the Planet!, AZ (Jason Silkey)
Northern Arizona University, Society of Environmental Communicators, AZ (Ryan Phillips )
Pacific Lutheran University GREAN, WA
Smith College MASSPIRG, MA (Sara Frankenstein)
Southern Arizona Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, AZ (Jonathon Seidel)
Stanford University Students for Informed Career Decisions, CA (Ned Tozun)
Temple University Green Students for Environmental Awareness, PA
Texas A&M Galveston Sierra Sea Club, TX (Regina Woodrum Luna, Founder & Group Chair)
University of California, Berkeley Environmental Coalition, CA (David Harris)
University of Georgia Students for Environmental Awareness, GA (Tara Harned)
University of Maine - Orono SEAC, ME (Leanna Ruth)
University of Massachusetts Amherst MASSPIRG, MA (Alex Gould)
University of New Mexico Public Interest Research Group, NM (Nick Rugen, Student Director)
University of Oregon Students for Corporate Responsibility (Karyn Kaplan)
University of Pennsylvania Penn Environmental Group, PA (Kristina Rencic)
University of South Carolina Students Allied for a Greener Earth, SC (Sarah Van Wye)
University of Southern California Student Action for the Environment/SAFE, CA (Paul Payne)
University of Utah Terra Firma, UT (Kati Bostwick)
Valparaiso University EarthTones, IN (Rebecca Roose)
Wake Forest University Student Environmental Action Coalition, NC (Patrick Wheeler)
Wellesey Environmental Board/ WAVE, MA (Suzanne Slezak)
William Patterson University Environmental Club, NJ (Valarie McHugh, Vice President)