[GRRN] Miller Beer on EarthNet News

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Thu, 28 Jan 1999 19:47:40 -0500

[Here's a word from from Earthnet News, a national electronic
student publication of Campus Green Vote and the Center for
Environmental Citizenship.]

...a project of the Center for Environmental Citizenship (CEC)

January 28, 1999
Want to help protect the environment while you're out partying
this weekend? This week's EarthNet News provides you with one tool to do
just that: Boycott Miller! Yes, you heard right, Miller is about to start
selling beer in plastic bottles that could destroy existing plastic
recycling efforts. Also in this issue, Greening Your Campus and stopping
the polluter's scheme to reduce air quality in our National Parks.

Rob Fish
Editor, EarthNet News

***********CORPORATE CORNER*************************

Miller Brewing Company Jeopardizes Plastics Recycling

As you go out and party this weekend, here's a beer to avoid. According to
the GrassRoots Recycling Network, The Miller Brewing Company's new plastic
beer bottle being test marketed in Los Angeles and five other markets could
devastate plastics recycling. Miller is the first brewer to introduce a
plastic beer bottle in the U.S. The GrassRoots Recycling Network has
called on Miller Brewing Company today to make the following commitments
before rolling out the bottle nationwide:

-- Ensure that the Miller bottle is compatible with current recycling
-- Ensure that the Miller bottle will not increase recycling costs for local
governments and recyclers.
-- Use at least 25 percent recycled content in all bottles.

The Miller plastic beer bottle's amber tint, new interior barrier material,
and metal cap and label make it incompatible with today's plastics
recycling stream. The reason is, these elements actually increase costs
for plastics recycling and cause such contamination that recyclers who
handle Miller bottles will not be able to sell their reclaimed plastic to
high-value markets. Since most plastics recyclers are struggling already,
this combination of increased costs and lost revenues could literally drive
them out of business. Furthermore, the initial production of bottles lacks
any recycled content and replaces the more recyclable glass and aluminum
containers currently in use. The implications of this new introduction
could be staggering, since there are two times as many beer containers that
could be shifted to plastic from glass and aluminum than there are plastic
soft drink bottles currently in use.

ACT NOW! Send a message to the Miller Brewing Company & let them know that
they can not disregard the impacts their new packaging has on current
recycling programs.

1. Write a letter to Miller Brewing Company: let Miller know that it
should NOT roll out the new package--and that you will NOT buy it--until
the company takes responsibility for its impacts on the waste stream.
Address your concerns to:
John N. MacDonough Phone: (414) 931-2000
Chief Executive Officer Fax: (414) 931-3735
Miller Brewing Company
3939 W. Highland Blvd.
Milwaukee, WI 53201-0482

2. Educate the Public: Inform your friends and loved ones that they should
not buy oruse the Miller plastic bottle until the company takes
responsibility for its introduction.

A 4-page Fact Sheet on the Miller Plastic Beer Bottle is on the
GrassRoots Recycling Network's web site at http://www.grrn.org
(under WasteMakers).


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