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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Ep. 61 – Pathfinders – Warren County and the Goddess of Glen Canyon World Is Burning

This week Olivia tells the story of the unexpected place where the environmental justice movement cut its teeth: Warren County, North Carolina. What started as a small town fighting against a dangerous landfill became national news and seven weeks of continued protests, led together by civil rights leaders and local activists. Then Elise tells us about the cowgirl-actress-turned-canyon-advocate Katie Lee, who dedicated her free-spirited life (and her music) to the preservation of Glen Canyon. Other topics include Simpsons villains, mediums with dark family histories, and swearing in board meetings. Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. World Is Burning is hosted by Olivia Hamilton and Elise Nye. Our theme music is by Kaycie Satterfield, and our logo was made by Sonja Katanic. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
  1. Ep. 61 – Pathfinders – Warren County and the Goddess of Glen Canyon
  2. Reimagining the "It's Too Late" Narrative and Climate Doom [Down the Rabbit Hole Minisode 8]
  3. Down the Rabbit Hole Minisode 7: Individual Action and the Private Jet Debacle
  4. Ep. 60 – Volcanoes and Water Towers
  5. Ep. 59 – Is Bitcoin Just Beanie Babies for Men?