[GRRN] MILLER PLASTIC BEER BOTTLE -Los Angeles Resolution Text

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Fri, 22 Jan 1999 15:27:21 -0500

[Here is the resolution introduced in the Los Angeles City
Council today addressing the introduction of hard-to-recycle
plastic beer bottles. Is your city or county loosing money
on plastics recycling? Feel free to show it to YOUR city
council members.... -- Bill S.]

January 22, 1999


WHEREAS, the City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation
has made great strides in implementing citywide recycling,
won awards for their innovation, creativity, and efficiency
with the recycling program, and has consistently been ahead
of schedule in achieving state-mandated goals for collection;

WHEREAS, the City saves taxpayers money by reducing
trash that would otherwise go to landfills, creating markets
for products made from recyclable materials, and supporting
programs that educate the public on reducing the waste
stream; and

WHEREAS, Miller Brewing Company recently began
testmarketing Miller Genuine Draft, Miller Lite and Icehouse
in a new plastic beer bottle in the Los Angeles area; and

WHEREAS, Miller Brewing Company has initiated similar
tests in Phoenix/Tucson, Dallas/Fort Worth, San Antonio,
Miami, and Norfolk, making this the first large-scale
distribution of beer in plastic bottles in the United States and
major step towards its eventual nationwide distribution; and

WHEREAS, this new Miller bottle uses a five-layer design
developed by Continental PET Technologies Inc. and made
from polyethelyene terephalate (PET), a plastic resin
commonly used in plastic soft drink bottles; and

WHEREAS, while the bottle design developed by
Continental PET has the ability to incorporate 25%-40%
recycled content, Miller has not incorporated recycled
content in any plastic bottles used in the testmarkets and has
not made any commitment to use recycled content in the
future; and

WHEREAS, the Plastics Redesign Project, a 32-state
coalition of recycling officials that aims to work with the
industry on plastic packaging design, has conducted a
preliminary evaluation of this container and identified a
number of potential adverse impacts on PET recycling

** use of an oxygen barrier layer which may be a
contaminant in the recycled PET resin stream
** use of a metal cap instead of a plastic cap which
is extremely difficult to completely remove
during processing
** use of a metalized label which is very difficult
to remove during processing
** use of amber tint PET which must be separated
at an additional cost from the clear and green
PET streams; and

WHEREAS, the widespread introduction of this bottle has
the potential to undermine the current PET recycling
infrastructure by introducing contaminants to the recycled
PET resin stream; increasing processing costs for curbside
programs, recycling centers and plastics processors; and
increasing the supply of post-consumer PET without
addressing the demand for postconsumer PET; and

THEREFORE, the City of Los Angeles hereby resolves that
Miller must address these recyclability issues and must do so
without creating any additional cost to City?s recycling
program, and

The City of Los Angeles further resolves, that Miller must
make a commitment to developing markets for recycled PET
by using at least 25% postconsumer recycled content in this
container; and

The City of Los Angeles further resolves that Miller should
resolve these issues before extending or expanding the
current testmarketing of its plastic beer bottle.

FURTHERMORE, the City Council hereby directs the
Bureau of Sanitation staff to determine how much the
unrecyclable Miller Beer Bottles will cost the City of Los
Angeles and its taxpayers and present the Miller Brewing
Company with a bill to recoup costs that the City will endure
as a result of Miller?s decision to market this product.

Presented by: ___________________________
Councilmember, Sixth District

Seconded by: ___________________________

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