The Coca-Cola Company hopes to inspire people to think, feel and behave differently about packaging waste and reimagine the possibilities of recycled plastic through a series of community events and programming, new marketing and much more.

Concerns about the environment and, specifically, marine debris, are higher than ever. Research shows that Americans want to do their part to help reduce waste, but are unsure about what can be recycled. Others believe that highly recyclable and valuable materials like plastic beverage bottles and aluminum cans eventually end up in a landfill, even if they are tossed in a recycling bin.

The next chapter of the #CocaColaRenew communications effort tackles two of the biggest barriers to recycling in the U.S. – public confusion and skepticism – by showing the potential good recycling can create in local communities, starting in its hometown of Atlanta.

“We want people to see the value they can help create each time they recycle – for the environment and for their local community,” said Caren Pasquale Seckler, vice president, social commitment, Coca-Cola North America. “By using the power and reach of our marketing, assets and relationships, we hope to inspire and invite all Americans to rethink the possibilities of recycled plastic.”

Kicking off in April with an Earth Week activation for employees, Coca-Cola plans to team with local governments, nonprofit partners and customers like the Atlanta Braves to host collection drives in seven U.S. cities. There, they will recover plastic bottles to be recycled and recreated as items that support the local community. From jackets, gloves and hats for people in need, to graduation gowns for high school seniors, to new beverage packaging, these items will show the benefits of a closed-loop plastics economy in locally relevant ways. Digital and print creative will tell the story of the events and the positive impact that can be created through recycling.

Creating a World Without Waste, One City at a Time

In January 2018, the company announced its World Without Waste vision to recycle the equivalent of a bottle or can for each one it sells by 2030 and to significantly increase the amount of recycled materials it uses in its products.

“Plastic waste is a massive challenge for both the environment and our business, and one that requires an all-hands-on-deck effort not just from individuals and families, but also local governments, nonprofits and companies. It’s our collective responsibility to find solutions,” Pasquale Seckler said. “We certainly do not have all the answers, so we’re looking forward to learning from our partners, consumers and communities on this journey to create a World Without Waste.”

Coca-Cola has a long history of supporting recycling infrastructure and programs across the U.S. Over the past decade, the company has helped place more than 1 million recycling bins in 2,000-plus communities and invested more than $12 million to support improved recycling infrastructures and educational outreach. Nearly all – 99% – of the company’s beverage packages in the U.S. are recyclable, and 30% of its plastic bottles are available in (fully recyclable) PlantBottle™ packaging partially made with renewable, plant-based material.