ATLANTA: Environmental groups are planning to launch a major PR
offensive to convince PepsiCo to use more recycled plastic in its soft
A resolution raised at the company's May 2 annual shareholder's meeting
called on Pepsi to use 25% recycled plastics by 2005. It is the first
step in what is likely to be a multi-year campaign, said Lance King, an
issues management consultant to the GrassRoots Recycling Network, an
Atlanta group spearheading the anti-Pepsi campaign.
Coke has been the target of similar efforts over the past four years and
recently agreed to strive for 10% recycled plastics in its bottles by
2005, said King.
While he refused to reveal specific plans for the Pepsi campaign, King
hinted that the approach would resemble that used to persuade Coke.
'We're prepared to engage in a longer term process to get Pepsi
interested,' he said. 'And I think it's reasonable to say we're going to
use tactics against Pepsi that were effective against Coke. We want them
to take responsibility for their waste.'
King said his groups pressured Coke by holding 22 public events around
the US, running ads in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and
Sierra magazine, and encouraging consumers to mail empty bottles back to
the company. The anti-Coke campaign began in 1997 with a public
demonstration at the World of Coke museum in downtown Atlanta.
Larry Jabbonsky, PepsiCo director of PR, said the company plans no
active PR response. Its board advised against approving the recycling
resolution prematurely, as Pepsi is uncertain it could secure enough
recycled plastic to meet a specific content goal. 'The environmental
impact of our products is a story we take very seriously, but we're not
about to make any promises we can't keep,' Jabbonsky said.