Shoppers will soon have the opportunity to make a sustainable fashion statement. Starting this week, select Wal-Mart stores across the country will display Coca-Cola "Drink 2 Wear" apparel made from recycled plastic bottles. The colorful t-shirts are made from a blend of recycled plastic bottles and cotton and feature playful, pithy slogans such as "Make your Plastic Fantastic" and "Rehash your Trash."
The t-shirt designs and imprinted messages on the men’s and women’s shirts are intended to promote recycling of used beverage bottles into renewable, reusable products. Accompanying graphics stamped on the inside of each shirt depict the act of recycling a plastic bottle and remind consumers to "re-fulfill a bottle’s destiny and become something great again." The men’s t-shirt features a "4 Inside" neck label; and the women’s t-shirt features a "3 Inside" neck label to indicate the number of PET bottles recovered and reused to create each shirt.
"These fun t-shirts merge trend with consciousness, reminding shoppers that small steps – like recycling a few bottles – can go a long way towards helping to preserve our environment," said Stuart Kronauge, vice president, marketing Coca-Cola North America. "If the 200 million Wal-Mart shoppers in the U.S. purchase these shirts, they will help us reuse and divert more than 700 million bottles from the waste stream."
Coca-Cola partnered with Wal-Mart to support the mass retailer’s Earth Month program designed to highlight products in-store that can help consumers live a more sustainable lifestyle. Prominent Wal-Mart store displays will include a selection of Coca-Cola beverages in plastic bottles along with the t-shirts. Point of purchase signage will serve as an additional reminder to shoppers to recycle their used bottles. The Coca-Cola "Drink 2 Wear" t-shirt line will be supported by a television, radio and print advertising campaign that began airing on March 30. The shirts will be available at select Wal-Mart stores across the country and on Wal-Mart.com.
Coca-Cola RPET Merchandise
Coca-Cola first launched its sustainable fashion line of apparel and consumer products in 2007 at the New World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Ga. The innovative sustainability program gives PET bottles an "afterlife" by transforming them into products consumers use every day. The program is one of the ways The Coca-Cola Company is working to reduce its environmental footprint.
The "rPET" line includes t-shirts, tote bags, messenger bags, caps, purses and notebooks made from recycled plastic bottles. The merchandise also features signature slogans and graphics to indicate the number of plastic bottles used to create each item.
The recently introduced rPET merchandise is just one of many initiatives underway in support Coca-Cola’s overall goal to recycle or reuse 100 percent of its bottles and cans in the U.S. market place. The Company has invested more than $60 million in the U.S. to support recycling programs, including building the worlds’ largest bottle-to-bottle recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C.
"Our long term vision is for our packaging to no longer been seen as waste but as a value resource for future use," said Scott Vitters, Director, Sustainable Packaging, The Coca-Cola Company. "We have been taking steps towards this vision for decades starting with the first lifecycle assessment of our packaging in 1969 and introducing the first commercialized PET bottles made from recycled material in 1991. Our new line of sustainable merchandise is another step toward this future."
Sustainable Packaging Leadership
The Coca-Cola Company has a history of designing packages with the environment in mind. The majority of Coca-Cola packages are not only recyclable; they are among the most recycled in the world thanks to their high end-use value. Coca-Cola also has continued to improve the resource efficiency of its packages. In 2007 the DASANI bottle was redesigned to be lighter weight, reducing plastic use by 30 percent and the 20-ounce contour bottle was reduced by five percent across all Coca-Cola brands. More information about The Company’s environmental goals and initiatives is available at www.environment.coca-cola.com.