Eric Lombardi (
Mon, 30 Nov 1998 16:41:02 -0700

At 02:13 AM 11/23/98 EST, you wrote:
>Hi, this is Karl, the CU student confused about Coke's recycling of other
>material and contribution to other environmental aspects. I brought up the
>article to my political science class which deals with environmental
issues in
>politics, and my teacher added that Pepsi does not use recycled plastic as
>well. Their not attacked like coke is because they did not make a promise.
>So it seems like their as equally as guilty as Coca-Cola in this whole
>issue. Other students guessed why Pepsi isn't attacked because they sponser
>CU, which, I may add, is not true (but remember, it was only a guess). So,
>again, I'm confused, confused of whether I should ban Pepsi as well as Coca-
>Cola? Both competitors should be treated the same if neither is using
>recycled plastic, whether or not both made a promise or not.
>Karl Freiburghaus
>CU student

Hi Karl,

I appreciate your interest in this issue ... and your
questions are good ones ... so here's some responses...
(I don't know whether or not you have recieved back
anything from anyone else)

First, by way of introduction, I am the Executive
Director of EcoCycle here in Boulder... your local
community recycling organization. I am also one of
the founders of the national GrassRoots Recycling
Network and creators of the Coke campaign.

We started the GRRN in the Spring of 1997, and one of
our "platforms" was a new concept called ZeroWaste.
One important tactic to achieve this goal is called
"extended producer responsibility" (EPR) which says that
the producer of a "waste" product (such as an empty
postconsumer plastic soda bottle) is responsible to
participate in the final disposition of that item.
This idea of EPR is law in Europe, and GRRN feels that
EPR would be good for the USA also.

After a weekend retreat in Georgia last year, a group
of very talented "social change agents" (ie. organizers
from all over the country with decades of experience)
made some decisions ... one of them was to select Coke
as our target to raise the EPR issue and educate people
about why it is necessary. We do not agree, for many
reasons, that "both competitors should be treated the
same"... as you put it. I understand your desire for
fairness, but in the hard world of power and social
change, fairness isn't really the issue.

I suggest you read a book
called "Rules For Radicals" by Saul Alinsky. There
are many ways to try and change the world, and Alinsky
is one of the masters.