Recycling Group Reacts To Miller's Announcement Of National Rollout Of Plastic Beer Bottle

News Release

For Immediate Release
March 9, 2000

Executive Director, Pat Franklin, 703/276-9800
Communications Consultant, Lance King 703/241-4927

Recycling Group Reacts To Miller's Announcement Of National Rollout Of Plastic Beer Bottle

WASHINGTON, DC (March 9, 2000) - The Miller Brewing Company's announcement of their national rollout of a plastic beer bottle has both positive and negative implications for the future of recycling according to the Container Recycling Institute (CRI), a research group based in Arlington, Virginia.

"It is good news for recycling and the environment that a major consumer product company has publicly committed to take responsibility for its product by agreeing to use recycled plastic in making its bottles, " said Pat Franklin, executive director of CRI. "Turning old bottles into new bottles is a step forward, at a time when plastic bottle recycling rates are steadily declining."

Franklin said there are still major hurdles, including the higher cost involved in recycling the amber plastic bottles. "In 30 states that rely solely on curbside recycling to collect plastic bottles the amber bottle will increase costs to municipal recycling programs because the bottles will have to be separated from clear and green plastic bottles," said Franklin.

According to CRI, the built in collection infrastructure provided by the container deposit system or bottle bill provides a steady stream of clean materials that can easily be used to make new containers out of old ones. "More importantly," said Franklin, "in the 10 states that have container deposits the costs are borne by producers and consumers rather than municipal governments."

The bottle bill requires a deposit on beverage containers that is returned to consumers when the container is returned. "Without the ten states with bottle bills," said Franklin, "Miller would not be able to get the supply of bottles needed to use recycled content in their new plastic bottle."

The Container Recycling Institute is a research and education organization studying container and packaging recycling issues.

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