In Asia, Coca-Cola Co. is handing out unusual bottle caps that turn empty plastic bottles into totally new objects, like paintbrushes, water squirt guns, lamps and pencil sharpeners.
The beverage giant partnered with advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather China on the “2nd Lives” campaign offering 16 screw-on caps in the brand's signature red color. The upcycling campaign launched in Vietnam, where 40,000 free bottle caps will be distributed this year with soda purchases. It will roll out later in Thailand and Indonesia.
The project is one of Coca-Cola's many ways of addressing criticism about its reliance on plastic. In a much broader effort that spans multiple markets, Coca-Cola uses recyclable plastic bottles made partly from plants.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have faced attacks over their use of plastic bottles from SodaStream, which markets at-home soda-making machines. Coca-Cola is getting into the home beverage-making game by featuring its brands for use in Green Mountain's upcoming Keurig Cold machines, which, like SodaStream, eliminate the need for bottles or cans.
Brand campaigns that encourage the reuse of packaging aren't new, of course. In 2011, Pringles launched a "Crunch Band" app encouraging people to turn their chip cans into music amps. And this past Halloween, Domino's helped people make jack-o'-lanterns out of pizza boxes.
But such campaigns are more unusual in Asia, where awareness of recycling and environmental issues isn't generally as high as in the West.