Group Says "No" To Coke's New 'Contour Can' Claiming It Costs More Money And Creates More Waste

News Release

Container Recycling Institute
1911 Ft. Myer Drive, Suite 900
Arlington, Virginia 22209
703/276-9800 fax 276-9587

September 5, 1997

Contact: Pat Franklin, Executive Director


Group Says "No" To Coke's New 'Contour Can' Claiming It Costs More Money And Creates More Waste

WASHINGTON, DC -- The Container Recycling Institute, today, announced a campaign to discourage Coke from going nationwide with their new can that's shaped like a contour bottle. "Coke's contour can," said Pat Franklin, Executive Director of CRI, "is costly to consumers and costly to the environment. All the consumer gets for the higher cost of the shapely, contour can is more waste and more pollution."

Franklin says the contour can holds the same amount of Coke Classic (12 fluid ounces) as Coke's standard aluminum cans, but is 8 mm taller and 2 grams heavier -- using 15 percent more aluminum than a regular, straight-walled Coke can. The shape of the can was inspired by the original contour glass Coca-Cola bottle, which according to the President of Coke USA, is "one of the world's most powerful equities with consumers."

"Mimicking the refillable, glass bottle, creates the image that the contour can is environmentally-friendly," said Franklin. "But in fact, the contour can creates more waste and more pollution and uses more water and more energy in its production than the standard can, and is many times more wasteful than the refillable glass bottle."

The new can is being marketed in Terre Haute, IN, the city where Coke's glass bottle was first patented in 1915, and four other cities: San Angelo, TX; Tucson and Sierra Vista, AZ and Las Cruces, NM. CRI has been organizing activists in the test-market cities, in an effort to discourage Coke from going nationwide with the can.

CRI estimates that the contour can will consume an additional 25 million pounds of aluminum a year, if it is introduced nationwide. With a 64 percent recycling rate, the institute estimates that approximately 9 million pounds will end up in landfills annually. CRI maintains that the introduction of the contour can flies in the face of the Coca-Cola Co.'s "commitment to the environment", as expressed in their publication, The Coca-Cola Company & The Environment. In that publication they declare, ". . . we have a responsibility to the billions of people . . . and that responsibility includes conducting our business in ways that protect and preserve the environment."

"If Coke goes to the national market with the contour can," said Franklin, "it will reverse the environmental policy of the world's leading soft drink manufacturer, and turn the clock backwards on source reduction."

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NOTE: CRI is encouraging consumers to do four things to help prevent nationwide marketing of Coke's contour can.

1. Sign a petition showing their opposition to Coke's newest package
2. Write a letter to the editor of their local newspaper,
3. Send a check to 'Kick the Can Campaign', c/o The Container Recycling Institute


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