EMBARGOED until August 30, 1999
Contacts: Lance King
(703) 241-4927

"Think before you drink Coca-Cola"
group says in New York Times ad

Recycling and environmental leaders step up campaign pressing Coke to keep pledge to use recycled plastic bottles

NEW YORK -- Consumers are being urged to think before they drink another Coca-Cola product, a national environmental and recycling group said today.

"Think about the waste and pollution generated by Coke's plastic bottles and about the company's environmental record. We believe The Coca-Cola Company broke faith with the American public and consumers on waste issues by switching away from recycled aluminum cans and recycled glass bottles to plastic bottles made from virgin resources," Rick Best, president of the GrassRoots Recycling Network said today.

The advertisement headlined "Think before you drink Coca-Cola" is the fifth paid advertisement placed by the GrassRoots Recycling Network since the group launched its advertising campaign about Coke's wasteful plastic packaging on August 2, 1999.

"Coke wants you to believe it's 'environmentally responsible,' but we believe the company's wasteful plastic bottles and record of opposing effective recycling legislation paint a different picture," said GRRN Network Coordinator Bill Sheehan.

The new ad features a question put to Coca-Cola CEO Douglas Ivester by a child in Georgia about Coke's plastic bottle waste.

"Dear Mr. Ivester: Why do you hurt the Earth when it's so easy not to?" -- Meredith, Age 9, Decatur, Georgia

Students from elementary school levels to college level have been writing Coke about its plastic bottle waste over the past two years, since the GrassRoots Recycling Network launched its campaign in April 1997. In the latest New York Times ad the group focuses on the legacy of waste being created by Coca-Cola.

"Coke CEO Ivester knows that recycled-plastic bottles are better for the environment. He made that point when Coke announced plans to use them in 1990. We simply want Coke to keep its pledge to use recycled plastic," said GRRN Campaign Consultant Lance King.

"By placing paid advertisements, we are able to communicate with millions of people directly and simply about the growing problem of Coke's plastic bottle waste. Billions of plastic Coke bottles are being wasted every year, littered or dumped in landfills rather than being recycled," said King.

The GrassRoots Recycling Network is targeting Coca-Cola because it is the largest soft drink maker in the United States, with 45 percent of the domestic market. Since Coke stopped using recycled plastic bottles in the U.S. four years ago the recycling rate for plastic soda bottles has dropped dramatically. Two-thirds of all plastic Coke bottles are wasted every year in landfills or littered.

"Coke took two actions which have contributed to the dramatic drop in plastic soda bottle recycling. First it stopped using recycled-plastic bottles and then it started using much more plastic with the introduction of the 20-ounce plastic bottle. As the industry leader, Coca-Cola must face the problem it created directly and take responsibility for finding a solution," said Best.

The GrassRoots Recycling Network is a North American network of recycling and community-based activists who advocate policies and practices to achieve zero waste. Based in Athens, Georgia, GRRN is a nonprofit organization established in 1996.

From Florida to California, local governments and waste management authorities have passed resolutions calling for Coke to use recycled plastic. These include Gainesville, Florida, City Council; Winona, Minnesota, Board of Commissioners; and in California, the West Hollywood City Council; the Berkeley City Council; the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board; and the San Luis Obispo Integrated Waste Management Authority.

More than 90 environmental, recycling, consumer, student and business leaders and organizations have endorsed the call for Coke to use recycled plastic bottles. Friends of the Earth, Earth Island Institute, Greenpeace, Campus Green Vote, Clean Water Action, Co-op America, Institute for Local Self-Reliance, California Resource Recovery Association, U.S. Public Interest Research Group, and Working Assets Long Distance are just a few of the groups supporting the campaign.

For more information on the GrassRoots Recycling Network and the Coke campaign visit our web-site at:


  Contact Us © Zero Waste USA ©
Archive maintained by Laughter On Water