INTEGRATED SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY
May 19, 1997
Mr. Roberto C. Goizueta
Subject: Using Post Consumer Recycled Plastic in Coke Bottles
Dear Mr. Goizueta:
The San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority (IWMA) is a regional agency consisting of the County of San Luis Obispo and the Cities of Arroyo Grande, Atascadero, Grover Beach, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach and San Luis Obispo.
For the last several years we have been working diligently to reduce the amount of waste which goes to our landfills. Our local residents and businesses have been very cooperative in working towards our goal of 50 percent reduction by the year 2000.
While our citizens have been doing their part to reduce and reuse material, we need the help of major corporations, such as Coca-Cola, to recycle our waste. The markets for most recycled materials have significantly decreased in the last two years. If companies are not willing to use the post consumer recycled material, then we will have to discontinue our recycling programs.
The Coca-Cola Company, as the world's leading soft drink manufacturer announced in December 1990 that it would begin using post consumer recycled plastics (PET) in its bottles, but it has not followed through. The technology to make 100% recycled-content plastic bottles has been available in the United States since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave its approval in 1994 for food contact applications. Presently Coca-Cola uses plastic bottles with post consumer recycled content in New Zealand, in Australia, and in several European countries.
The IWMA believes that using post consumer recycled plastic in your bottles would greatly help our recycling efforts and would result in plastic beverage containers achieving recycling rates similar to aluminum cans (which you do use). Please let us know why you are not using post consumer recycled plastic and if you have plans to use it in the future?