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September 08, 2007


Conrad MacKerron

Hi Joel:

Your history of the activist efforts by Coke and Pepsi on beverage container recycling did not capture the main reason Coke acted now: shareholder activism.

The GRRN campaigns you mentioned ceased about four years ago. Since that time pressure on the company has not come from activist groups but mainly from two persistent shareholder groups: As You Sow and Walden Asset Management. The two groups withdrew a shareholder proposal on beverage container recycling earlier this year after the company promised to take substantive steps. We did the same with Pepsi.

For several years, AYS and Walden have partnered to press Coke and Pepsi to set high levels of recycled content for plastic soda and water bottles, and to develop strong container recovery goals.

Coke's actions move the company toward our first goal of using higher levels of recycled PET by making a long-term investment in a more stable supply of PET. The company appears to be moving toward our request to develop recovery goals by setting an ambitious goal of recycling or reusing all of the plastic it uses. While this is a terrific commitment, we won’t really be celebrating until the company tells us how it will achieve its 100% recovery goal, and over what timeframe.

Coke’s commitments respond to requests in shareholder proposals filed in recent years by us and in ongoing shareholder dialogue with the company. Sandy Douglas, president of Coca Cola North America acknowledged in a press conference last week that social investments groups were a factor in its commitments.

For those of you interested in how beverage companies rate on packaging issues, check out a beverage container report card published by As You Sow last fall. The report is at http://www.asyousow.org/sustainability/bev_survey.shtml.

Shareholder action sometimes does not get the credit it deserves as a catalyst for social change, and indeed sometimes it is difficult to pinpoint the reason for change when you have activists, shareholders and government all applying pressure. In this case however, in recent years, shareholders were the active groups pressing the company and deserve recognition.


Conrad MacKerron
Director, Corporate Social Responsibility Program
As You Sow Foundation

Chris Savage

Hi Chris,

I came across this article and thought it would be of interest in light of our LCA plans for glass versus plastic.

Best regards,



I'm trying to purchase old 2 liter bottles - if you can direct me as to where and how I'd greatly appreciate it -thank you - JDM

Rajeev Mishra

Advertising message with reference to coca cola please my send ID:[email protected]
And image send me



Hi, Found this website very informing.
I am doing a project with an organization named Wildcoast.
We deal with water pollution and are currently doing a project on the effect of water pollution by water bottles.
Do you happen to know what year Coca-Cola in Mexico changed from glass bottles to plastic bottles?

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