July 28, 1999
Contacts: Lance King
(703) 241-4927

Working Assets Joins Campaign Targeting Coca-Cola's Plastic Bottle Waste

"Action alert" sent to 300,000 long distance customers with message to call Ivester, pressing Coke to make soda bottles from recycled plastic

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO M. Douglas Ivester is getting telephone calls and e-mail from an 'action alert' sent to 300,000 Working Assets customers, calling upon  Coke to use recycled plastic to make new soda bottles, the GrassRoots Recycling Network announced today.

"Working Assets is making a major contribution to the grassroots campaign calling upon Coca-Cola to take responsibility for its plastic bottle waste.  Mr. Ivester announced in 1990 that his company would start making recycled plastic soda bottles, but Coke abandoned the process 4 years ago.  As a result, billions of plastic bottles which could be used to make new bottles go to landfills or incinerators every year,"  Dr. Bill Sheehan, network coordinator for the GrassRoots Recycling Network, said today.

Working Assets long distance telephone customers began receiving a ‘CitizenAlert’ with their telephone bill on July 10 and the national mailing is expected to be completed by early August. CitizenAlerts typically generate 30,000 to 40,000 phone calls.

"Coca-Cola sells more than 25 million sodas everyday in plastic bottles in the United States.  Almost two-thirds of those bottles end up littered or sent to landfills and incinerators.  As fast as those bottles are thrown away, the plastics industry churns out new bottles and spews out toxic chemicals in making new plastics from raw materials," said GRRN campaign organizer Lance King.

The GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) is leading a campaign calling upon Coca-Cola to take responsibility for its wasteful plastic soda bottles.  A national nonprofit organization headquartered in Athens, Georgia, GRRN is mobilizing recycling leaders, businesses and environmentalists in an effort to eliminate waste and create a sustainable economy.

"The Working Assets mailing is part of the 'Coke - Take It Back!'  campaign launched by the GrassRoots Recycling Network in September 1998.  To date, 88 organizations, recycling leaders and businesses in 26 states have endorsed the campaign,"  Sheehan said.

City councils and government agencies in 6 communities in 4 states have also passed resolutions calling upon Coke to begin making plastic soda bottles with recycled material.

"Coke says it abandoned recycled plastic bottles because costs were too high.  But more cost-effective technologies have been developing, technologies passing U.S. Food and Drug Administration review.  Coca-Cola uses recycled plastic - and even refillable plastic bottles --  in some countries,"  King said.

Working Assets is a long distance, credit card and Internet services company that donates a portion of its revenues to nonprofit groups working for peace, human rights, equality, education and the environment.

More information on the GrassRoots Recycling Network and the Coke campaign is available on the Internet at: GRRN's Main Coke Campaign Page. The Working Assets alerts can be viewed here.


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