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Once upon a time, Coca-Cola ran one of the world’s most successful reusable bottle systems. Their decentralized network boasted an over 95% return rate, with some glass bottles being used upwards of fifty times before being recycled.
Today, they’re the biggest plastic polluter on the planet. What the hell?
This week Olivia’s telling us the story of Coca-Cola, the rise of the single-use mindset, and how promises to “keep America beautiful” managed to put the blame on individual consumers and governments instead of on the producers of that trash.
Plus, Elise’s cool new project that tackles packaging waste, how Prohibition ruined everything, and what new media is giving us hope.
Follow @Repackagemailers for more packaging waste facts and to learn more about Elise’s Austin mailer reuse program. Plus the cutest little raccoon.
Story: Coca-Cola and the Single-Use Mindset (Olivia)
Citizen Coke: An Environmental and Political History of the Coca-Cola Company, Bartow Jerome Elmore
Coca-Cola reveals how much plastic it uses, BBC, March 2019
Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestlé named top plastic polluters for third year in a row, The Guardian, December 2020
The Bottle Deposit Debate, Living on Earth, Nov 2019
1894 March 12 Coca-Cola sold in glass bottles for the first time, History.com
Coke: The World’s Worst Plastic Polluter?, Our Changing Climate, August 2020
Is aluminum better than plastic? It’s complicated., The Verge, January 2020
States with bottle deposits, National Conference of State Legislatures
The famous (infamous?) 1971 PSA from Keep America Beautiful that pinned corporate litter problems on individuals (and featured an Italian-American actor as a very stereotypical Native American) — so much to unpack!! :
Slow Factory’s Landfills As Museums
Loki (we hear the finale uses a clip from Greta Thunberg??)
The World Is Burning bookshop is live! Help us come up with book list titles and bulk up our reading list.
Our World is Burning themed playlist is on Spotify.
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Thanks for listening!