The GrassRoots Recycling Network plans to ask consumers to mail empty PET bottles back to Coke, the first time the organization has tried to hit a mass audience in its effort to pressure Coca-Cola Co. to use recycled resin in soft drink bottles.
GRRN will unveil the campaign Sept. 15 at the National Recycling Coalition's Congress in Albuquerque. It will take its message to hundreds of consumer and environmental groups, local officials and recyclers to enlist their help in reaching consumers, GRRN said.
``One of the things that will be dramatically different in this campaign from where we were last year is we will be targeting our energy beyond the professional recycling community,'' said GRRN spokesman Lance King. ``We'll go to large mainstream environmental and consumer groups that have the capacity to reach tens of thousands of people at a time.
``GRRN has decided to launch this renewed campaign focused exclusively on PET as opposed to other issues we raised last year because of the rapid proliferation of single-use PET bottles made with virgin resin, and continued decline in recycling rates for PET,'' he said.
The group is angry that Coke has not lived up to a 1990 commitment to use recycled PET, King said.
Athens, Ga.-based GRRN will provide labels to mail empty bottles back to Coke that say ``Coke Keep Your Promise! Take It Back and Use it Again.''
The campaign also will include so-called ``tool kits'' for local groups to organize events, write letters to newspapers and urge people not to buy Coke products until it uses recycled PET.
GRRN also plans a coordinated day of events in several cities next month, King said. GRRN recently received $130,000 in grants and self-matching funds, and is using some of that money to hire two national campaign coordinators, including King.
The mail-back campaign follows an effort last year by the San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority to urge residents of that California county to mail back Coke bottles.
Coke officials could not be reached but have said in the past that the company continues to research using recycled resin and that they phased out using recycled plastic because it proved to be ``complex and economically unsustainable.''
But GRRN said Coke is using recycled PET in Australia and Europe.