Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Wed, 2 Jun 1999 17:22:45 -0400


June 2, 1999
Contact: Bill Sheehan, (706) 613-7121
Lance King, (703) 582-7932


Calls for Coca-Cola and Miller Brewing
Company to Use Recycled Material

SACRAMENTO, CA -- A growing number of local
governments in California and across the
nation are calling on consumer product
leaders Coca-Cola and Miller Brewing Company
to use recycled plastic in beverage
containers, the GrassRoots Recycling Network
said today.

"Plastic waste is a rapidly growing problem
for local government and recyclers, which
prompted us to appeal directly to Coke and
Miller to use recycled plastic in their
beverage containers," GRRN Network
Coordinator Bill Sheehan said today.

The GrassRoots Recycling Network is
supporting passage by the California State
Senate of new legislation requiring food and
cosmetic containers to comply with the
state's plastic recycling law. Senate Bill
1110, by Sen. Wes Chesbro (D - Arcata),
passed the Appropriations Committee last
week and is scheduled for a floor vote
either today, June 2, or tomorrow, June 3.

"We launched a direct action campaign last
year asking consumers to mail empty plastic
Coke bottles to Coca-Cola Company Chairman
Ivester. It reflected our concern about the
lack of manufacturer responsibility in the
United States for packaging, at a time when
plastic recycling rates are dropping,"
Sheehan said.

GRRN plans to continue its campaign and
outreach to local government, while
supporting legislation like SB 1110.

"The California legislation has national
implications for holding product
manufacturers responsible for plastic
packaging waste, which is why the plastics
industry is using all its influence to stop
passage of this bill," Sheehan said.

Local government authorities in a number of
communities have taken up the issue, passing
resolutions addressed to either Coke or
Miller, GRRN reported today. Neither company
is using recycled plastic in its beverage
containers, although technology has been
approved by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration allowing them to do so.

Resolutions or letters calling on Coca-Cola
to use recycled plastic have been sent by:

- Alameda County Waste Management Authority
- West Hollywood City Council
- San Luis Obispo County

- Boulder County Recycling and Composting

- Winona County

- City of Gainesville

When Miller Brewing Company began test
marketing its plastic beer bottle toward the
end of 1998 in the United States, the
GrassRoots Recycling Network and a number of
local governments raised concerns about
recycling problems associated with the
container, as well as the need to use
recycled plastic.

Local governments passing resolutions or
writing to express concerns to Miller
Brewing Company include:

- Los Angeles City Council
- Alameda County Waste Management Authority
- City of West Hollywood

- City of Madison

"Plastics are a growing problem for
community recycling programs in California
and across the nation, due to the high cost
of collection, low scrap value for recycled
material and relatively few manufacturers
using the material in their packaging,"
Sheehan said.

The GrassRoots Recycling Network is a
national nonprofit organization
headquartered in Athens, Georgia. Its
members and supporters come from recycling
businesses, local government, environmental
groups and community groups advocating
recycling policies. California is where the
largest number of GRRN members and
supporters are located.

Additional information on GRRN and its
projects is available on the internet at: