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Coca-Cola, Columbia Sportswear Reuse Packaging to Reduce Waste


Food and beverage companies and retailers, alike, are creating new ways to reuse their packaging to reduce landfill waste and their environmental footprint.

As an example, Coca-Cola has partnered with Atlanta-based Insignia Promotions to turn its 20 oz. PET bottles into clothing. Coca-Cola is recycling PET bottles into golf shirts that will be worn by all of the 1,300 tournament volunteers at The TOUR Championship, a tournament featuring the top 30 players in the PGA TOUR playoffs for the FedEx Cup.

These RPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate) shirts contain fiber made out of post-consumer bottles and end up as a blend of 50 percent waste cotton and 50 percent polyester. The RPET shirts were created to help Coca-Cola meet the goal of 100 percent reuse of its PET bottles put into the market by the company.

Coca-Cola, the presenting sponsor for The TOUR Championship, is also providing more than 200 recycling bins and specific receptacles for recyclable bottles at the event.

In January, Coca-Cola opened the world’s largest bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C. The plant is capable of producing approximately 100 million pounds of recycled PET plastic each year — the equivalent of nearly two billion 20 oz. Coca-Cola bottles. Over the next 10 years the plant will prevent the release of one million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions, according to the company.

Columbia Sportswear Company has announced a new reused box initiative that allows online customers to decide if they want their order shipped in a previously used cardboard box. The early response is positive with sixty-six percent of online customers selecting the environmentally friendly option, according to the company.

In addition to choosing a used box for shipping their purchases, customers can track the life of their box as part of a community Web site that Columbia has created called A Box Life at www.aboxlife.com.

Columbia.com ships the remainder of its orders in plastic bags containing 25 percent post-industrial recycled content and encourages reuse by including instructions on how consumers can use the bag again.

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