Episode 35 – Coca-Cola and the Single-Use Mindset

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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)
The Rapid Truck, made by the Rapid Motor Vehicle Company in Pontiac, MI, was the first truck in Knoxville, TN. This photo was taken in 1909. [Photo and Caption from Vintag.es]

Sources
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!! :

The Dump

Watch!
Slow Factory’s Landfills As Museums
Loki (we hear the finale uses a clip from Greta Thunberg??)


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Thanks for listening!

World Is Burning Presents: Bottle Episode – Daiquiris and Digressions with Nick Dolan World Is Burning

With Olivia finishing up her grad program and BOTH of us having gotten covid in the last few weeks, we didn't want to throw together an episode! Quality over quantity right? But, we figured you might enjoy Elise's new podcast Bottle Episode: The Professional Bartender's Guide For The Cocktail Enthusiast that she's making with her husband Lan. This is definitely a change of pace from our usual content, but kick back, relax, and learn the history of and how to make one of Elise's favorite classic cocktails, the Daiquiri! On this episode, Lan and Elise chat with Nick Dolan, their dear friend and incredible bartender based in Nashville, TN. He's lent his talents to the NoMad in NYC, the Fox Bar and Cocktail Club, Skull's Rainbow Room, and Nightscape in Nashville, TN. There's no better person to talk Daiquiris with than this kind, brilliant soul. Plus, they talk a little bit about Fox's sustainability practices! Don't forget to give Bottle Episode a follow if you enjoyed listening! — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. World Is Burning Presents: Bottle Episode – Daiquiris and Digressions with Nick Dolan
  2. Ep. 56 – Earth Day and Greenwashing
  3. Ep. 55 – Botanical Sexism and Bed-Stuy's Tree Lady Hattie Carthan
  4. Ep. 54 – Earthrise and Big Plastic’s Recycling Scam
  5. Ep. 53 – The Worst Year in Human History and the Tumbleweed Debacle