Staff reporter Mike Verespej is known for delivering scoops to Plastics News readers -- and it's my pleasure to report that tonight, his efforts were recognized. Mike won First Place in the Public Service/ Investigative category for trade publications in the 2012 Ohio Excellence in Journalism competition. The winners were announced June 15 in Cleveland. Specifically, he won for the story "Coke stops making food-grade recycled PET," but the truth is we made sure the judges knew about the full extent of Mike's Coke-related scoops last year. In our entry, we wrote: "This is the first of several scoops by Mike Verespej, Plastics News' staff reporter in Washington, about Coca-Cola Co.'s plastics recycling troubles. Two years ago, Coke opened the joint venture recycling plant with great fanfare. But when the plant stopped making food-grade recycled PET, Plastics News was the first to report the news. Mike stayed on top of the story all year. In May, he reported on an internal memo on Coke reorganizing its recycling operations. In June, Mike reported that Coke was trying to sell the Spartanburg, S.C., plant. Later in the summer, Plastics News and The Wall Street Journal both reported on Aug. 19 that Coke had restarted the plant. (PN's story ran in our Aug. 22 print edition) Mike's stories have been cited in the local press, as well as the financial, beverage, packaging, and recycling publications and even in our competitive plastics media." The judges appreciated the effort, calling the stories: "An interesting 'scoop' for a trade journalist. Well-placed sources and research led to a well-written series of articles. We are in favor of recycling plastic -- but only when the quality is safe for consumers. We will never look at a Coke bottle in the same way." Congratulations Mike, the plaque will be in the mail on Monday!
Congratulations to Mike Verespej
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