Urging Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola to Use Recycled Plastic and Support Policies to Increase National Recycling Rates for Plastics.

Passed Unanimously -- April 4, 2000

WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles has long promoted the use of reusable and recycled products through its purchasing practices, educational efforts, and policy initiatives; and

WHEREAS, approximately 3,614,474 tons of solid waste are currently being landfilled each year by the City of Los Angeles; and

WHEREAS, the cost of collecting and landfilling those wastes are estimated to be $200 million annually; and

WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles is required by state law to reduce, reuse and/or recycle 50% of all solid waste by 2000 and 75% by 2010; and

WHEREAS, over fourteen years ago the Los Angeles City Council voted to require implementation of a citywide recycling plan; and

WHEREAS, in 1990 the City disposed of 253,597 tons of plastic (6.5% of total disposed waste street) and in 1995the City's plastic waste stream reached 364,092 tons (10% of total disposed waste street); and

WHEREAS, plastics comprise one of the fastest growing portions of the waste stream and are quickly replacing other more commonly recycled materials; and

WHEREAS, the Coca-Cola Company is leading the beverage industry to increase its use of PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic, and moving away from the use of easily recyclable glass and aluminum for its beverage containers; and

WHEREAS, according to the US EPA, the national recycling rate for PET soft drink containers has declined dramatically from a high of 53.3% in 1994 to 35.5% in 1997 and has now reached a critical stage; and

WHEREAS, reversal of declining PET recycling rates requires a significant commitment by the beverage industry to increase both the supply and the demand for recycled plastic; and

WHEREAS, experience in California has demonstrated that the most effective program to increase recycling rates is container deposit legislation; and

WHEREAS, Coca-Cola Company and others in the beverage industry have vigorously lobbied against deposit legislation that would increase recycling rates in other states; and

WHEREAS, it is widely acknowledged that the use of recycled PET in the production of beverage containers would have a positive impact on the value of recycled PET, and therefore the market for material collected through curbside and buyback programs; and

WHEREAS, the Coca-Cola Company announced in 1990 that they would use 25% recycled plastic in their bottles but stopped in 1994 and is currently using only minimal amounts of recycled plastic; and

WHEREAS, FDA-approved technology exists that incorporates recycled PET into new beverage containers, and proven technology for refillable plastic bottles also exists, and both of these processes are currently being used by Coca-Cola for their overseas markets.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council urge Coca-Cola Company to commit to use significant amounts of recycled PET in their bottles for markets in the United States, thereby closing the loop and getting the best and highest use out of their bottles as well as returning a measure of profitability to the operations of our nation's public and private recycling programs; and

FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council urge Coca-Cola Company to increase its use of recycled PET as well as support deposit legislation and other policies which significantly increase the collection of plastic bottles.

FURTHER, BE IT RESOLVED that the City Council also urge Pepsi-Cola Company and others in the beverage industry to use recycled plastic and support policies to increase national recycling rates for plastics.

BY _______________________________

President Pro Tem

BY ________________________________

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