Bill Sheehan (bill_sheehan@mindspring.com)
Sun, 13 Dec 1998 05:12:33 -0500

A project of the
GrassRoots Recycling Network

STATUS UPDATE - December 12, 1998

Dear Coke-Take It Back! Campaign
Participants & Supporters:

The GrassRoots Recycling Network wants to
thank all of you for the terrific work that
you have done on the campaign. With your
help, we have come out with a splash and are
building momentum.

A significant achievement of the campaign to
date is finally drawing a response from
Coca-Cola. For the first time since we
wrote Coke in April 1997, the National Soft
Drink Association has gone on record
speaking for Coke, claiming -- somewhat like
a president we know -- "we never promised to
use recycled plastic"!

Thanks again for your care and hard work!
Your actions will make one of the most
respected corporations in America and the
owner of the best known brand name in the
world do The Real Thing -- Recycle! By
making Coke take responsibility for its
wasteful packaging, we are sending a message
to other consumer products corporations:
"We are not asleep -- Recycling still

Bill Sheehan
Network Coordinator


ENDORSEMENTS: GRRN launched the campaign in
Albuquerque, New Mexico, on September 15
with endorsements from 23 groups.
Endorsements increased to 43 by October 29
and nearly doubled again to 81 by November
9. Another four have come in, giving a total
of 85 endorsements. Geographic distribution
increased from 12 states on September 15 to
a total of 26 states and the District of
Columbia now. Endorsements include national
groups like Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace
Toxics Campaign, Earth Island Institute, as
well as several chapters of: the Sierra
Club, Clean Water Action, Student
Environmental Action Coalition and USPIRG.
Equally important are many small community
groups, which is what grassroots action is
all about.

EVENTS: GRRN identified a total of 13
events in media advisories spread over the
period from November 10 to November 17,
including events in the following cities:
Athens and Atlanta (November 10); Eugene
(November 11-13); Sacramento and Washington,
DC (November 12); New Orleans (November 12-
13); San Francisco, Oakland and Bloomington
(November 13); Andover (November 14); San
Luis Obispo (November 15); and, Boulder
(November 17). Almost everyone stayed on
message and was factually accurate. It is
extremely difficult if not impossible to
quantify accurate the number of bottles sent
to Coke because this is a decentralized

MEDIA COVERAGE: We are aware of over 3
dozen newspaper, radio, wire service, and
television and trade press stories, as well
as op-eds and letters to the editor.
Outstanding coverage includes: Sacramento
Bee, page 1, feature length story; The
Colorado Daily, two page 1 stories; BNA
Daily Environment Report (the most
influential Washington environmental trade
report), and a feature in The Society for
Environmental Journalists' Tipsheet for
December 2nd. At least a half dozen
additional stories are in the works,
including newsletter articles that will
reach hundreds of community groups and more
than 100,000 people between now and mid-
January. GRRN held a news conference at the
National Press Club on December 3rd,
focusing on the 8th anniversary of Coke's
broken promise. (NOTE: Please send
originals of any press, letters or
newsletter articles in your area!)

NEXT STEPS: The campaign will continue to
build until Earth Day 1999 -- or until Coke
takes responsibility for its wasteful
packaging. GRRN is working to get even more
groups signed on and is evaluating options
for new events and actions to keep the
momentum building. Stay tuned -- via e-mail
and our web site (www.grrn.org). And keep us
in your loop!

Bill Sheehan
Network Coordinator
GrassRoots Recycling Network
P.O. Box 49283
Athens GA 30604-9283
Tel: 706-613-7121
Fax: 706-613-7123