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[GreenYes] Coke stocks up, outlook for recyclable bottles down
Environmentalists urge support for Coke recycling proposal

By Paul Simao

  
ATLANTA (Reuters) - A U.S. environmental group and some Coca-Cola Co. 
investors Monday urged the soft drink giant's shareholders to vote for a 
resolution that would force Coke to adopt higher targets for recycling of 
cans and plastic bottles in the United States. 

The GrassRoots Recycling Network said shareholders at the company's 
annual meeting should support a resolution that would force the beverage 
giant by 2005 to recycle 80 percent of its bottles and cans in the United 
States and produce bottles with an average of 25 percent recycling 
plastic. 

The non-profit Athens, Ga.-based environmental group said more than 
37,000 empty Coke soft drink bottles and cans were thrown away every 
minute in the nation. Coca-Cola, the world's No. 1 soft drink company, is 
scheduled to hold its annual meeting on April 18 in Wilmington, Delaware. 

"We want Coke shareholders to be aware of the rapid increase in Coke 
bottle and can waste and the liability that represents to the company's 
image before voting on the recycling resolution," said Bill Sheehan, 
national network coordinator for the GrassRoots Recycling Network. 

The group placed an ad in a regional edition of the Wall Street Journal 
newspaper Monday to bolster support for a strategy that it said would 
make Coca-Cola an industry leader in recycling. 

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola, however, opposes the resolution. 

"We do plan to increase our use of recycled plastic, but the timeframe 
and goals set forth in this shareowner proposal would displace 
significant levels of material currently being used by other industries," 
Coca-Cola said in its proxy statement. 

A Coca-Cola spokesman reaffirmed Monday that the proposal was 
well-intentioned but not in the best interest of the company's business. 

In separate news, Coca-Cola, which has tentatively settled one racial 
discrimination lawsuit and is fighting another, announced that it had 
named Johnnie Booker as director of supplier diversity for its North 
American operations. 

The company said Booker, whom it described as a "recognized expert in the 
field of diversity and affirmative action, would help develop plans to 
meet the company's spending goals for U.S.-based minority and 
female-owned suppliers. 

Shares of Coca-Cola gained 69 cents to close at $45.85 on the New York 
Stock Exchange. 

18:03 04-02-01

Copyright 2001 Reuters Limited. 





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