FW: The latest on zero waste from NRC

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Bill Sheehan

Sep 18, 2007, 10:08:22 AM9/18/07
to GreenYesL
A couple of clarifications on Marc Gunther's article circulated by Gary Liss
that suggest prudence on hawking the Zero Waste brand too cheaply. Coke is
to be congratulated on committing to invest in recycling more of its
plastic, but calling that Zero Waste may be premature.

Gunther: "Zero waste . won a powerful new supporter yesterday in the
Coca-Cola Co., which set a long-term goal of having every bottle it sells in
the U.S. recycled or reused."

An article in Plastics News (August 31, by Mike Verespej) had a more sober
article with some interesting specifics.

Plastics News: "In 2006 . [Coca-Cola] introduced in the Netherlands a
light-weight, recyclable bottle containing 25 percent recycled material that
will replace the refillable plastic bottles it previously sold in that
Is this Zero Waste?

Gunther: "Coke's plastic bottles currently contain about 10% recycled PET."
Plastics News: "Coca-Cola Enterprises, which bottles 19 percent of
Coca-Cola nonalcoholic beverages worldwide and is its largest bottler, used
recycled PET for 3.8 percent of its needs last year."

Gunther: "The plant will open next year; it will produce about 100 million
pounds of food-grade recycled PET for reuse each year.
Plastics News: "In 2006 . almost 4 billion pounds of PET bottles were not
recycled." [U.S., industry wide]
A long ways to go to Zero!

And most importantly:

Plastics News: "Coca-Cola also has invested $2 million" in voluntary
recycling programs, which it plans to promote nationally. "Despite the need
for more recycled materials, Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Inc. have opposed bottle
Deposits have proven to be effective. Is it o.k. to declare a Zero Waste
goal and then promote a marginal, self-serving strategy?

/Bill Sheehan
Product Policy Institute

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