[GRRN] Campus Jobs Boycott Targets Coca-Cola

Bill Sheehan (zerowaste@grrn.org)
Fri, 15 Oct 1999 03:21:14 -0400

October 15, 1999

Rick Best, GrassRoots Recycling Network
916-443-5422; 916-599-2148 cell
Heather Kunst, ECOnference 2000


Coke is named for jeopardizing plastics

PHILADELPHIA (October 15) - A coalition of
student activists is launching a new
campaign to get tens of thousands of
students nationwide to pledge not to
interview for jobs with corporations that
are doing harm to the environment. One of
the first corporations to be targeted is the
Coca-Cola Company.

"Coke is being targeted for its failure to
support plastics recycling," said Andy
MacDonald, field director for the Dirty Jobs
Boycott. "Coke's failure to use recycled
plastic is hurting recycling and the
environment. It is time for students to
demand more of market leaders like Coke
before going to work for them."

The Dirty Jobs Boycott targeting Coke is the
latest development in a campaign launched by
the GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) in
April 1997. After direct communications
with Coke failed, GRRN started a direct
action in which consumers were asked to mail
empty plastic bottles to Coca-Cola CEO M.
Douglas Ivester with the simple message
'Take It Back and Use It Again'.

Last summer, the campaign was stepped up
with a series of paid ads in the New York
Times and the Wall Street Journal. Working
Assets Long Distance sent an alert to more
than 300,000 customers, generating over
40,000 letters, e-mail and calls to Coke's

"Coke broke its promise to use recycled
plastic," said Rick Best, president of the
GrassRoots Recycling Network. "Meanwhile,
Coke has introduced the single serve plastic
bottle without using any recycled plastic,
causing plastics recycling rates to plummet,
to the point that two out of every three
bottles are wasted. As the industry leader,
Coca-Cola must face the problem it created
and take responsibility for finding a
solution," said Best.- more - "Coca-Cola
sells more than 25 million soda bottles in
the U. S. every day. Despite the misleading
recycling symbol (chasing arrows) stamped on
the bottom of each bottle, virtually none
contain recycled plastic," Best added.

The Dirty Jobs Boycott will be launched at
ECOnference 2000 in Philadelphia this
weekend. Targets will be officially
announced, student leaders will be trained,
and the campaign will begin.

"By Earth Day 2000, corporations with
terrible environmental records will hear the
message loud and clear: if they want to be
successful recruiters, they have to be good
corporate citizens," said Heather Kunst,
Dirty Jobs Boycott organizer.

"Corporate recruiters are now a common and
aggressive force on college campuses seeking
out the best and brightest to join their
company," said MacDonald. "Corporate
recruiters compete with each other to lure
students with signing bonuses, generous
salary packages, opportunities for
advancement, and the offer of a fulfilling
and rewarding career with their company. We
call on them to include a demonstrated
commitment to our environmental future in
their benefit package," MacDonald said.