NRC Honors Coca-Cola with Leadership Award

The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) of Washington, D.C., on Feb. 12 honored The Coca-Cola Company with its annual "Recycling Works!" Award for the company's commitment to sustainable packaging design, investment in recycling infrastructure and its goal to recycle or reuse 100 percent of the company's polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic bottles in the United States.

"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, (NRC) executive director. "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 demonstrated stellar leadership in recycling and conservation. 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 NRC," 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."

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 NRC, The Coca-Cola Company supports a biannual Recycling Bin Grant program that allows government, civic, school, non-profit groups and for-profit companies to establish or enhance their 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.

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