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Environmental Protection & Preservation

Coca-Cola Sets Goal to Recycle or Reuse 100 Percent of Its Plastic Bottles in the U.S.

Coca-Cola today announced it is investing more than $60 million to build the world's largest plastic-bottle-to-bottle recycling plant and support recycling in the US. These investments are part of a comprehensive goal to recycle or reuse 100 percent of the Company's PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic bottles in the US.

"We have set an ambitious goal to recycle or reuse all the plastic bottles we use in the U.S. market," said Sandy Douglas, president Coca-Cola North America. "Our investments in recycling infrastructure, coupled with our work on sustainable package design, will help us reach this target."

World's Largest Bottle-to-Bottle Recycling Plant

The Coca-Cola Company and United Resource Recovery Corporation (URRC) will build the world's largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C. The plant will produce approximately 100 million pounds of food-grade recycled PET (polyethylene terephthalate) plastic for reuse each year - the equivalent of producing nearly two billion 20-ounce Coca-Cola bottles.

"The long-term sustainability of our business depends on our ability to ensure the sustainability of our packaging," said Mr. Douglas. "This new recycling facility represents a significant milestone as we work to advance recycling in the U.S. and ensure a strong end-market for our PET packaging."

The new 30-acre Spartanburg plant will open in 2008 and will be fully operational in 2009. It is part of a continuing effort by Coca-Cola to support recycling in key markets. Coca-Cola also has invested in recycling facilities in Switzerland, Mexico, Austria and the Philippines.

Recycling plastic for reuse yields financial benefits, requires less energy than producing bottles with virgin materials, and reduces waste and greenhouse gases. Over the next ten years, the Spartanburg recycling plant is expected to eliminate the production of one million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions - the equivalent of removing 21,500 cars from the road.

Coca-Cola has been focused on PET recycling and reuse since introducing the first beverage bottle made with recycled material in 1991. Since then, Coca-Cola has worked with URRC and other partners to accelerate the development and commercialization of environmentally-efficient and sustainable recycling technologies throughout the world. Today, The Coca-Cola Company uses recycled content in more than 17 countries, including the United States.

"Coca-Cola has staked a clear leadership position in its approach to sustainable packaging," said Kate Krebs, executive director, National Recycling Coalition (NRC). "The new Spartanburg plant represents an end-to-end recycling model that is world class and that I hope other industries will follow."

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