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[GreenYes] GRRN Letter to Pepsi
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January 29, 2002

Mr. Steven S Reinemund
Chairman of the Board and
Chief Executive Officer
700 Anderson Hill Road
Purchase, NY 10577

Dear Mr. Reinemund,

We are writing to you on behalf of the Grassroots
Recycling Network (GRRN) to urge PepsiCo take
immediate voluntary steps to reduce packaging waste from
your used beverage containers.  We ask that PepsiCo make
a public commitment to use 25 percent plastic recycled
content and to achieve an 80 percent recycling rate for all
of your beverage containers by 2005.

GRRN is a North American network of waste
reduction activists and professionals dedicated to achieving
sustainable production and consumption based on the
principle of Zero Waste.

PepsiCo repeatedly emphasizes its commitment to
environmental leadership, and its brand value depends on
excellence.  Yet PepsiCo has no comprehensive recycling
strategy that includes quantitative goals for boosting
recycled content in its U.S. beverage containers or for
enhanced rates of beverage container recovery in the U.S.

Meanwhile, PepsiCo's main competitor has set a goal
for using recycled content in plastic bottles and participated
in a process, the BEAR Multi-Stakeholder Recovery
Project (MSRP), that attempted to objectively analyze the
state of beverage container recovery and seek solutions.
PepsiCo has done nothing on recycled content  may even
be backtracking with a newly acquired brand  and spurned
the MSRP process.

Recycled Plastic.   Both Coca-Cola and Pepsi
promised to use 25 percent recycled plastic in 1990.  Coke
made a significant investment at the time, but ultimately
both companies broke the promise when pressure faded.
As a result of renewed consumer pressure, however, Coca-
Cola's CEO made a public commitment at the April 2001
shareholder meeting to use 10 percent recycled content in
all of its bottles by 2005.  We understand that Coke is
already ahead of this schedule and is currently using 10
percent recycled plastic in three-quarters of their North
American bottles.

By comparison, PepsiCo appears to be headed
backwards.  After you acquired Gatorade -- the primary
user of recycled plastic in drink bottles for the past 9 years --
PepsiCo told the bottle supplier to stop using recycled
plastic, saying it "brought no value" to the company,
according to a report published in Plastics Recycling
Update.  Although outside pressure forced PepsiCo to
backtrack temporarily, rumors are swirling in the recycling
industry that PepsiCo has told its supplier that it will
neither specify recycled plastic nor renew the contract.

Container Recovery.   As you may know, U.S.
recycling rates for both plastic and aluminum have been
declining for six years, to the point where the recycling rate
for beer and soft drink containers (plastic, aluminum and
glass) is a mere 41 percent, with the majority of recovery
coming from 10 deposit states.  In fact, container recovery
rates are more than three times greater within the 10 deposit
states than in the 40 non-deposit states.  Financial
incentives are indisputably the only proven method to
increase recovery significantly. Yet PepsiCo continues,
through the National and State Soft Drink Associations, to
lobby aggressively against container deposit legislation,
and has put no effective alternative proposal forward.

PepsiCo touts its support for EPA's Solid Waste
hierarchy.  Soft drink containers are indeed a relatively
highly recycled consumer package; but this feat has been
accomplished largely by the 10 states that have the
beverage container deposit laws that you oppose, and by
taxpayers and local governments who pay the cost for
disposal of your containers in cities with curbside
collection.  These latter costs, which add up to tens of
millions of dollars annually, amount to an 'unfunded
mandate' paid by financially strapped local governments
and by citizens who may not even consume your product.

Even more significant are the unnecessary
environmental, health and energy costs associated with
producing aluminum cans and glass and plastic bottles from
virgin resources rather than from recycled containers.  For
example, as you probably know, it takes a fraction of the
energy to produce new aluminum cans from recycled cans
than from newly mined and processed bauxite ore. Each
such can has an embodied energy content equivalent to the
gasoline that would fill that can one-third full. At present,
almost half (45%) of the 102 billion aluminum cans sold in
the U.S. each year are wasted  buried, burned or littered.

This is not an environmentally sound or sustainable

PepsiCo appears to have seized the initiative on fronts
such as 'New Age' and healthy beverages that appeal to
young people. We can think of little that would do more to
appeal to young people and give PepsiCo credibility with
this demographic group than an environmental initiative
that was sincere, effective, and powerful.

The environmental community hereby calls on
PepsiCo to make a real commitment to establishing a
system that achieves an 80% collection rate (a rate that is
already being met or exceeded in most U.S. states with
container deposit systems), and to specify to all of your
plastic bottle suppliers a minimum of 25 percent recycled
content (the level that has been used in most Gatorade

If both of these initiatives are undertaken together,
existing industries can utilize as feedstocks all collected
plastic, glass and aluminum without market disruption. The
impact on employment, tax revenues and wealth creation
could be substantial and significant. And Pepsi could
rightly take credit for this monumental achievement.

The GrassRoots Recycling Network initially focused
attention on Coca-Cola because they were the market
leader.  Today, Coca-Cola is making serious efforts to
address environmental concerns and engaged in a
constructive dialogue to resolve this issue.

PepsiCo can no longer ride Coca-Cola's coat tails.
Environmental activists, including student and youth
leaders, are prepared to refocus their campaigns on
PepsiCo's failure to address the appalling and needless
wasting of beverage containers.  The ball is now in
PepsiCo's court to produce actions commensurate with
your company's rhetoric of environmental concern.
America's youth -- PepsiCo's future consumers -- demand
no less.

A rapid and strong commitment by PepsiCo to these
pro-environmental policies would have an enormous
impact and demonstrate that the company has the boldness
and foresight to seize the baton of leadership and carry it

Bill Sheehan
Executive Director

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