Coca-Cola Shareholder Vote on Recycling - 'Better Than Expected', According To GrassRoots Recycling Network

88.9 Million Shares Voted 'Yes' on Recycling Means Supporters

Can Bring Measure Back Again, According to Rules Set by U.S. SEC



Apr 18, 2001, 01:00 ET from GrassRoots Recycling Network

    ATLANTA, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The following release was issued today
 by GrassRoots Recycling Network, Container Recycling Institute and Waste Not
 Georgia:
 
     Investors with 88.9 million shares of Coca-Cola stock, worth more than 4
 billion dollars, voted to support a shareholder resolution on recycling at the
 company's annual meeting today.
     Supporters of the recycling resolution secured enough support to bring the
 proposal back again next year, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange
 Commission rules governing shareholder proposals.
     "We did better than expected.  When you combine the yes votes and those
 who abstained, roughly 10 percent of the votes went against the Coca-Cola
 management's recommendation opposing the recycling resolution.  That's an
 excellent result for a first vote on any shareholder resolution," said Lance
 King, speaking on behalf of environmental groups and individual investors
 supporting the recycling proposal (Item 5) on Coke's agenda.
     Conrad MacKerron, representing the Education Foundation of America and
 Walden Asset Management, co-sponsors of the shareholder resolution, made the
 presentation in support of the shareholder proposal.  The non-binding proposal
 calls for Coca-Cola to achieve two specific recycling goals by January 1,
 2005:
 
     *  Make plastic bottles with 25 percent recycled plastic; and
     *  Take steps to achieve an 80 percent recycling rate for Coke bottles and
        cans.
 
     "Recycling rates for beverages sold by Coca-Cola and its competitors
 dropped dramatically in recent years, as plastic bottles and other throwaway
 beverage containers proliferate," said Pat Franklin, a Coke shareholder and
 executive director of the nonprofit Container Recycling Institute, based in
 Arlington, Virginia.
     Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Douglas Daft made two significant announcements
 in response to the shareholder proposal on recycling.  First, Daft said that
 Coca-Cola plans to use 10 percent recycled plastic in its bottles by 2005.
 Second, Daft said Coke is working with a newly formed alliance called BEAR --
 Businesses and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling.
     In a question and answer session, Bill Sheehan of the GrassRoots Recycling
 Network noted that Coke uses 25 percent recycled plastic in other countries,
 such as Daft's native Australia, and Sheehan asked "why not in the United
 States?"
     Sheehan also presented a letter in support of the shareholder resolution
 on recycling, addressed to the Coca-Cola Board of Directors, and signed by
 76 investors, public officials, businesses, environmental and community
 leaders.
     Bob Woodall, an Atlanta-shareholder and executive director of Waste Not
 Georgia, said after the vote:  "Unless a financial incentive is established,
 like the refundable deposits in 10 states with bottle bill laws, Coke will
 find it difficult or impossible to meet the goal of making plastic bottles
 with 10 percent recycled plastic."
     Institutional investors co-sponsoring the shareholder recycling resolution
 called on Coca-Cola to stop opposing bottle bills or come up with another
 method to achieve the 80 percent recycling rate, which is the current average
 in states with refundable deposits.
     "The vote today assures shareholders that recycling will stay on the
 agenda in discussion with top management at Coca-Cola and can be brought back
 again next year, if necessary.  Coca-Cola is beginning to address the
 problem," King said.
     Pepsi, by contrast, is doing nothing to address these problems and fought
 unsuccessfully before the SEC to block a similar shareholder recycling
 proposal, according to the environmental groups.  The Pepsi shareholder vote
 is scheduled May 2 in Dallas, Texas.
 
 

SOURCE GrassRoots Recycling Network
    ATLANTA, April 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The following release was issued today
 by GrassRoots Recycling Network, Container Recycling Institute and Waste Not
 Georgia:
 
     Investors with 88.9 million shares of Coca-Cola stock, worth more than 4
 billion dollars, voted to support a shareholder resolution on recycling at the
 company's annual meeting today.
     Supporters of the recycling resolution secured enough support to bring the
 proposal back again next year, according to U.S. Securities and Exchange
 Commission rules governing shareholder proposals.
     "We did better than expected.  When you combine the yes votes and those
 who abstained, roughly 10 percent of the votes went against the Coca-Cola
 management's recommendation opposing the recycling resolution.  That's an
 excellent result for a first vote on any shareholder resolution," said Lance
 King, speaking on behalf of environmental groups and individual investors
 supporting the recycling proposal (Item 5) on Coke's agenda.
     Conrad MacKerron, representing the Education Foundation of America and
 Walden Asset Management, co-sponsors of the shareholder resolution, made the
 presentation in support of the shareholder proposal.  The non-binding proposal
 calls for Coca-Cola to achieve two specific recycling goals by January 1,
 2005:
 
     *  Make plastic bottles with 25 percent recycled plastic; and
     *  Take steps to achieve an 80 percent recycling rate for Coke bottles and
        cans.
 
     "Recycling rates for beverages sold by Coca-Cola and its competitors
 dropped dramatically in recent years, as plastic bottles and other throwaway
 beverage containers proliferate," said Pat Franklin, a Coke shareholder and
 executive director of the nonprofit Container Recycling Institute, based in
 Arlington, Virginia.
     Coca-Cola Chairman and CEO Douglas Daft made two significant announcements
 in response to the shareholder proposal on recycling.  First, Daft said that
 Coca-Cola plans to use 10 percent recycled plastic in its bottles by 2005.
 Second, Daft said Coke is working with a newly formed alliance called BEAR --
 Businesses and Environmentalists Allied for Recycling.
     In a question and answer session, Bill Sheehan of the GrassRoots Recycling
 Network noted that Coke uses 25 percent recycled plastic in other countries,
 such as Daft's native Australia, and Sheehan asked "why not in the United
 States?"
     Sheehan also presented a letter in support of the shareholder resolution
 on recycling, addressed to the Coca-Cola Board of Directors, and signed by
 76 investors, public officials, businesses, environmental and community
 leaders.
     Bob Woodall, an Atlanta-shareholder and executive director of Waste Not
 Georgia, said after the vote:  "Unless a financial incentive is established,
 like the refundable deposits in 10 states with bottle bill laws, Coke will
 find it difficult or impossible to meet the goal of making plastic bottles
 with 10 percent recycled plastic."
     Institutional investors co-sponsoring the shareholder recycling resolution
 called on Coca-Cola to stop opposing bottle bills or come up with another
 method to achieve the 80 percent recycling rate, which is the current average
 in states with refundable deposits.
     "The vote today assures shareholders that recycling will stay on the
 agenda in discussion with top management at Coca-Cola and can be brought back
 again next year, if necessary.  Coca-Cola is beginning to address the
 problem," King said.
     Pepsi, by contrast, is doing nothing to address these problems and fought
 unsuccessfully before the SEC to block a similar shareholder recycling
 proposal, according to the environmental groups.  The Pepsi shareholder vote
 is scheduled May 2 in Dallas, Texas.
 
 SOURCE  GrassRoots Recycling Network