A group of concerned shareholders announced on November 29, 2000 that they are pressing The Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo Inc. to adopt a comprehensive recycling strategy to address environmental problems posed by millions of plastic soda bottles discarded daily that end up in landfills and incinerators. The Walden Asset Management of Boston, Massachusetts and the As You Sow Foundation of San Francisco, Los Angeles (and other shareholders) have filed a shareholder resolution to ask Coca-Cola and Pepsi to adopt a 25 per cent recycled content in bottles and to provide an adequate supply of used containers for recycling. The proposal also asks the companies to institute programs to achieve a recycling rate of 80 per cent for its beverage containers sold in the U.S. The proponents hold about $50-million worth of Coke shares at the market price of November 27. Currently two of every three plastic soda bottles — or about 45 million containers per day — become landfill waste. The U.S. recycling rate for plastic soft drink containers declined from 50 per cent in 1994 to 35.7 per cent in 1999. In 2000, after pressure from advocacy groups led by the GrassRoots Recycling Network and discussions with investors, Coca-Cola started recycling a small amount (2.5 per cent) in their plastic bottles, but Pepsi uses no recycled plastic.
Contact Ken Scott at 617-726-7003 or Conrad MacKerron at 415-984-4603