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[greenyes] Coke Leads Move to Returnable Glass Bottles in Latin America
GreenYes Colleagues,

                         Re:  Coke takes step back to the future?

The Wall Street Journal reports today (October 15) that the Coca-Cola Company 
is bringing back returnable glass bottles in several Latin American countries 
for marketing reasons, primarily to make their products more affordable.  
Pepsi is following suit.

See "Marketplace" Section, page B2B, story headlined:

Coke Leads Drive
To Bring Glass
Out of Retirement
Old-Look Bottles Are Used
In Effort to Aid a Recovery
In Latin American Sales

By Miriam Jordan

                                     "Economic woes in Latin America have
                               Coca-Cola fixating on glass.
                                     After virtually retiring glass bottles
                               from stores in favor of lighter, more con-
                               venient and more attractive plastic con-
                               tainers, Coke is leading a reverse trend.
                               The beverage powerhouse is champion-
                               ing returnable glass containers as a way
                               to lower prices and keep consumers buy-
                               ing its carbonated beverages in these
                               hard times.
                                     In late August, Coke launched an ad-
                               vertising campaign in Venezuela that pro-
                               claims "What is Good Always Returns."  A
                               one-liter glass bottle costs consumers one-
                               third less than a comparable polyethylene
                               terephthalate, or PET, bottle.  Similar ef-
                               forts are underway in Argentina and Bra-
                               zil, which is Coke's third-biggest market
                               by volume after Mexico and the U.S. ...."

The fairly lengthy article goes on to explain how the deposit system works, 
how it helps poor consumers, and why glass in more economical in Latin America 
than PET.

What an interesting development.  Perhaps we should be writing The Coca-Cola 
Company to raise the possibility of helping the poor in the United States by 
bringing back returnables.

Of course the economics of glass versus PET are different in the United 
States.  But just imagine what a boon it would be for local economies, litter 
reduction, energy and environmental conservation.  And it's a voluntary initiative 
that could bring an end to the decades-old battle over bottle bills.

At least we should acknowledge that the move to returnables is a net positive 
in Latin America.


Lance King
Community Solutions
5615 26th Street N.
Arlington, VA. 22207
Tel: 703/536-7282
Fax: 703/538-5504

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