Take Action!

What You Can Do

      Recycling advocates, public officials and consumers in six test market cities and around the United States should let Miller know that it must take responsibility for its new bottle. Miller must ensure that if and when the bottle is rolled out nationally, it will be made compatible with the current recycled PET streams and will not increase the costs for local governments and recyclers.

       You can help send a message to the Miller Brewing Company that it can not disregard the impacts its new package has on our recycling programs by taking the following actions:

1. Write a letter to Miller Brewing Company: Let Miller know that it should not roll out the new package, and that you will not buy it, until the company takes responsibility for its impacts on the waste stream. Address your concerns to:

John N. MacDonough      Phone:(414) 931-2000
Chief Executive Officer     Fax: (414) 931-3735
Miller Brewing Company
3939 W. Highland Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0482

Send copies of your letter to:

  • Dan Barthold, Director of Environmental & Energy Engineering, Miller Brewing Co. (same address).
  • GrassRoots Recycling Network, P.O. Box 49283, Athens, GA 30604.
  • Plastics News, 814 National Press Blvd, Washington, DC 20046.
  • Beverage World, 226 26th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10001.
  • Your local newspaper.

2. Work to pass a resolution: You can pass an organizational, local government or state-wide resolution calling on Miller to commit that its new bottle will (1) be compatible with the current recycled PET stream, (2) include recycled content, and (3) not impose additional costs on local governments, taxpayers, or PET recyclers. A model resolution is available from GRRN.

3. Educate the Public: Inform consumers that they should not buy or use the Miller plastic bottle until the company takes responsibility for its introduction.

The Message

      What is alarming is Miller's lack of attention to the needs of recycling. Miller's decisions, by its own admission, have been driven primarily by marketing, with insufficient regard given to the impacts of the bottle on the recycling stream. The bottles are now finding their way into recycling programs in the test markets and those programs do not have the capacity to sort, market, or otherwise process the containers. So, the bottles are either contaminating the PET stream, or being thrown away. And, Miller has made no commitment to aid in the development of mechanisms to adapt our recycling systems to accommodate their new bottle once it goes national.

       The GrassRoots Recycling Network is urging that Miller make the following commitments before rolling out the new plastic bottle nationwide:

1. Ensure that the Miller bottle is compatible with current PET recycling.
2. Ensure that the bottle will not increase costs for local governments and recyclers.
3. Remove the #1 PETE SPI Code designation (and use #7 Other) until the bottle has been demonstrated to be compatible with the PET recycling.
4. Use at least 25 percent recycled content in all bottles.

       The choice is clear. Miller can shirk its responsibility, saddle taxpayers and local governments with additional costs and disposal burdens, and drive a nail in the coffin of the PET recycling industry. Or, it can take responsibility for its innovation, ensure that its bottle is compatible with the current PET recycling system and doesn't add any costs to recycling programs.

[NOTE: This sheet is part of the GrassRoots Recycling Network's FactSheet on Miller Brewing Company's new plastic beer bottle.]

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