The program, Recycle & Win, is a recycling initiative which offers tips on recycling and rewards to selected residents for proper recycling. The program launched in Charlotte, NC, in 2009.
To implement and promote recycling, The Coca-Cola Company and Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated have invested over $150,000 in the Coca-Cola Recycle & Win program so far. The Columbus campaign will include a direct mail educational packet sent to all single-family households in the area by mid November. The educational packet contains images highlighting which materials should go in recycling containers as well as a “Give it Back” sticker, which residents must place on their recycling container to opt in for a chance to win a $50 Piggly Wiggly gift card.
Pat Biegler, Columbus’s director of public works, says they are attempting to encourage recycling, which “makes the city more efficient.”
The Coca-Cola Recycle & Win Recycling Street Team will be visiting area neighborhoods starting in mid November and plans to award a total of 260 $50 Piggly Wiggly gift cards throughout the six-month program.
Piggly Wiggly teamed up for the program because “sustainability is a core value at Piggly Wiggly,” says Gil Milligan, operations manager.Another Coca-Cola recycling initiative generated some controversy in Chicago last year, for the appearance of “greenwashing.” The program saw 50,000 Chicago homes receiving recycling bins from the soft drink giant; Coke products will be featured on the sides of the bins.
“The city says this is a win-win. Residents get support in recycling, the city gets subsidized bins. But at what price? Call me old fashioned, but I thought we still lived in a country where you had a right not to be used as a marketing tool by multinational companies,” wrote Anna Lappe in a Huffington Post article. Lappe pointed out that, while Coke has been struggling against government efforts around the country to “protect public health” by restricting its sugary beverages, it gains positive PR with its large-scale environmentally friendly program.