Fri, 22 Jan 1999 16:57:41 -0500

[NOTE The Coke Action reported below was covered by network TV
(ABC, CBS, NBC and CNN) in Atlanta. Stay tuned for Earth Day
opportunities in your community!]


APRIL 7, 1997

Lance King: (916) 492-2924


ATLANTA -- Recyclers and activists representing more than
fifty community organizations from seventeen states gathered at
the World of Coca-Cola Pavilion today to demand that Coke do
the Real Thing - Recycle!

The newly-formed Grassroots Recycling Network (GRN) is
calling upon Coca-Cola to fulfill a prior commitment to use
recycled content in its plastic bottles and to take responsibility
for the reuse and recycling of its empty containers.

"Coca-Cola made a commitment in 1990 to turn its old bottles
into new bottles," said Richard Anthony, steering committee
member of the Grassroots Recycling Network. "Seven years
later, Coke still isn't using recycled plastics here in the United
States - but Coke is using recycled plastics in New Zealand, in
Australia, and in Europe. And, in other countries they use
refillable bottles that need deposits. If Coke can do the Real
Thing there, why not here?"

"Ten states put a deposit on soft drink and beer containers to
encourage people to recycle, but here in its home state of
Georgia, Coca-Cola has been vigorously fighting local efforts to
have deposits," said Bill Sheehan, Chair of the GRN.

"We are calling upon Coke to take the GRN challenge," Said Eric
Lombardi, Executive Director of EcoCycle in Boulder, Colorado,
at a rally held in front of the World of Coca-Cola Pavilion
announcing the GRN's campaign. In a March 19th letter to
Chairman and CEO, Roberto C. Goizueta, the GRN asked Coca-
Cola to do four things: (1) begin using recycled PET plastics
immediately in its plastic bottles; (2) disclose the percentage of
post-consumer recycled content on product labels; (3) re-
establish a nationwide system of refillable containers during the
next 5 years; and (4) commit to reinstate deposits on all
containers within 18 months.

"We are now taking this campaign to the public and university
campuses and asking them to sign a petition calling on Coke to
do The Real Thing!" said Alicia Lyttle, Tulane University
student and GRN steering committee member. "We are looking
for Coca-Cola to take these steps voluntarily, just as more than
100 million Americans have made the voluntary commitment to

The soft drink and beer industries generate over 130 billion
containers each year. Over 6 billion pounds of these containers
end up as garbage in landfills. The public must ultimately pay
the enormous economic and environmental costs of wasting
resources, including air and water pollution, energy and water
usage, loss of habitat due to mining and production, and high
material production and disposal costs.

"By turning these wasted materials into new products, we
benefit the environment and create career and entrepreneurial
opportunities for our poor rural communities and inner cities,
which need them the most," added Brenda Platt, of the Institute
of Local Self Reliance and member of the GRN. "On a per-ton
basis, recycling creates many more jobs than landfills."

The Grassroots Recycling Network is a coalition of community-
based reuse, recycling, and composting activists and
organizations engaged in conserving our human and natural
resources. The GRN has been formed to give a voice to the
conservation ethic that more than 100 million Americans
express daily by recycling.