Coca-Cola Announces Next Phase in 'Greening' the National Mall

Nov 09, 2010, 14:00 ET from The Coca-Cola Company

The Department of Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Coca-Cola executives help launch the first-ever permanent recycling program on the National Mall

ATLANTA, Nov. 9, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Coca-Cola wants YOU... to please recycle when you visit the National Mall. One year after announcing an investment of more than one million dollars in the National Park System in partnership with the National Parks Service, National Park Foundation and the Trust for the National Mall, Coca-Cola helped launch the first sustainable recycling program to help keep the National Mall clean and green by donating 320 recycling bins and recycling trailers for special events.

The 320 recycling bins will be a permanent addition to the National Mall, dotting the landscape stretching from the Capitol Reflecting Pool to the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials. Coca-Cola is donating two recycling trailers and 400 additional bins to be used during special events held on the National Mall.

"At Coca-Cola, caring for our environment is part of our heritage, and we are committed to preserving and protecting it," said Steve Cahillane, President and Chief Executive Officer, Coca-Cola Refreshments. "We have supported our national parks for decades. There's no better place to provide a visible reminder of recycling than on the National Mall, which hosts more than 25 million visits annually. Recycling is one of the easiest ways to help keep our national treasure pristine."

The announcement was made today at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial during a Trust for the National Mall event where Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed the National Mall Plan. The signing of the plan capped off a planning effort that included input from more than 30,000 Americans in all 50 states, and culminates in a vision and direction for future conservation and preservation of the National Mall.

In addition to a hard hat tour around the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the event included a demonstration by Coca-Cola on its bottle-to-bottle recycling system. Local students also toured the National Mall, encouraging visitors to recycle and educating them about how recycling benefits our communities.

"I am pleased to participate in today's events," said Secretary Salazar. "The National Mall is where we come to learn about our country, our leaders, and to celebrate our shared values of equality and freedom. These programs will help to ensure this special park is capable of upholding these ideals and principles for generations to come."

Beyond Recycling

Building on more than 40 years of support for America's parks, Coca-Cola has demonstrated its environmental leadership through a series of innovations across the country designed to reduce the Coca-Cola system's environmental footprint at each step in the manufacturing, distribution and sales processes.

"Recycling is perhaps the easiest and most effective way to protect our environment," said Peggy O'Dell, Regional Director, National Capital Region, National Parks Service. "The sustainable recycling program on the National Mall is one which we hope to replicate in other parks across the country, and thanks to Coca-Cola's support, we've diverted 60 tons of material from landfills in the first three months of the program."

In the Washington, D.C. area, other sustainable programs Coca-Cola has initiated include introducing the first ever climate-friendly beverage coolers on Capitol Hill in 2009 and owning the largest hybrid delivery truck fleet, which uses roughly 30 percent less fuel and produces about 30 percent fewer emissions than standard trucks. In addition, Coca-Cola has worked to develop recycling programs with Washington area sports teams, facilities like the Verizon Center and Nationals Park, as well as Keep America Beautiful, which supports RecycleMania, a competition and grant program to help colleges and universities develop recycling programs.

The program in Washington, D.C. is one of many across the United States that demonstrates our commitment to supporting sustainable communities. In 2009, Coca-Cola opened the world's largest bottle-to-bottle recycling facility in Spartanburg, South Carolina, capable of producing 100 million pounds of recycled PET plastic each year – which is the equivalent of almost two billion 20-ounce Coca-Cola bottles.

In 2009, the Company launched PlantBottle packaging, a significant development in sustainable packaging innovation which uses up to 30 percent plant-based materials, such as sugar cane and molasses.

"At Coca-Cola, we are working hard to ensure that our packaging is no longer seen as waste, but as a valuable resource for future use," said Cahillane. "From our commitment to designing and developing more sustainable packaging to our support for recycling at national parks, we are demonstrating our innovative approach to doing business in an environmentally responsible way."

About The Coca-Cola Company

The Coca-Cola Company is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid and Georgia Coffee. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks, and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.5 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at

SOURCE The Coca-Cola Company