WASHINGTON, Feb. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) today honored The Coca-Cola Company with its annual “Recycling Works!” Award for the Company’s unparalleled commitment to sustainable packaging design, investment in recycling infrastructure and its unprecedented goal to recycle or reuse 100 percent of the Company’s PET (polyethylene terraphthalate) plastic bottles in the United States.
The award which will be presented tonight at the Coalition’s 10th Annual Gala, recognizes the Company’s broad, significant and visionary approach to insuring environmental sustainability for packaging of the beverage company’s products, along with its global leadership position in using recycled content in its packaging.
“The Coca-Cola Company has played a pivotal and unprecedented leadership role with their commitment to a sustainable economy and a sustainable environment” said Kate Krebs, executive director of the National Recycling Coalition. “By carefully examining the environmental impacts of their products and packaging throughout their lifecycle, and assessing the end of life options, Coke has laid out a strategy that takes packaging decisions to a more comprehensive and dynamic level. What is most important to the Coalition is translating their commitment to action, using real dollars to make a real difference. We enthusiastically applaud their leadership and honor their commitment.”
Since 1998, the NRC’s “Recycling Works!” Award has honored an organization or individual who has demonstrated stellar leadership in recycling and conservation of the environment. Previous recipients include Dell, Starbucks, McDonald’s Corporation and Environmental Defense.
“The Coca-Cola Company is honored to receive the Recycling Works award from the National Recycling Coalition,” said Sandy Douglas, president, Coca-Cola North America. “It places us in the company of great environmental stewards who have inspired our vision for a sustainable business. We envision a day when our packaging is no longer seen as waste but as a valuable resource for future use.”
The Coca-Cola Company has a long history of designing packages with the environment in mind. It commissioned the first study to examine the whole environmental impact of a package in 1969 and introduced the first food grade plastic bottle made with recycled material in 1991.
In addition to its advances in using recycled content, the Company has made significant investments in recycling infrastructure. In September 2007, Coca-Cola announced it was investing more than $60 million to build the world’s largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in the United States along with providing investment to support recycling infrastructure as part of its comprehensive goal to recycle or reuse all the plastic bottles it uses in the U.S. market.
As a member and partner of the National Recycling Coalition, The Coca-Cola Company provides support for NRC to develop a biannual Recycling Bin Grant program that allows government, civic, school, non-profit groups and for-profit companies to establish or enhance their own recycling collection programs. In the first round of grants, NRC and Coca-Cola provided 76 organizations with 2,500 recycling bins. A second round of grants will be awarded on Earth Day 2008.
Along with the Bin Grant program, NRC and Coca-Cola work together to support a national recycling competition among college campuses called Recyclemania. Led by college recycling coordinators, Recyclemania is a 10-week fun and friendly competition designed to increase campus recycling. Schools participating in Recyclemania 2007 represented 42 states and the District of Columbia, reaching more than 2.2 million students and more than 500,000 faculty and staff. For 2008 the number of participating schools has doubled, with an unprecedented total of 400 colleges and universities competing.