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Open ( Percieved ) Happiness

The idea of a environmentally friendly product that reduces the harmful emissions and carbon traces it leaves sounds like a wonderful idea. On paper. In reality, it’s often too good to be true, and is unfortunately the point of this assignment. Coca Cola intentionally stated in their ad that this new plant bottle was more environmentally sustainable and did more to reduce its effects rather then just ignore them. Not everyone was sold, and did a little digging. As it turns out, not only did the material used for the bottle not align with what the corporation stated, it was actually illegal. They offered no documented proof whatsoever that the plant bottle did these things, and just assumed the consumer would believe them. Another thing Coca Cola left out was the whole recyclable plant material bit. It actually depends on where the bottle is made. In Denmark, only 10 – 12% of the bottle was recyclable. Coca Cola responded that it still used less plastic then before, even if it wasn’t by much. It wasn’t in the pubic attention until an environmental organization called Forests Of The World stepped in and filed a complaint against Coca Cola, stating that they violated the Danish and European Marketing Practices Act. Coca Cola couldn’t demonstrate or prove that the new plant bottle had a positive effect regarding the CO2 emissions. It doesn’t help that Coca Cola also promised that this new plant bottle initiative would cut 20 million metric tons of CO2 with the entire manufacturing and distribution process. There are simply too many variables in play to accurately account for the CO2 reductions.

It’s great that more and more corporations and businesses are trying to be more green in this very crucial part in time. What’s more important though is that they are honest and effective in how they go about doing it. Just saying that a product lessens its effect on the world isn’t good enough. Say it’s going to do something and do it, simple as that. If Coca Cola really wanted to pursue this green initiative, that great. Some better ways it could accomplish that is if they set realistic goals and kept the public informed in how they’re going to accomplish said goal. If they still want the plant bottle that’s great. How about make the bottle mostly if not entirely out of recyclable material, that way more plastic is reused instead of filling up landfills because there’s too much. The whole point is to make a positive impact, so even if the packing isn’t possible; perhaps an incentive can be given to refill old coke bottles instead of manufacturing new ones. Use less energy and emit less C02, and reward the loyal consumers for making a difference. It might not be the most profitable choice for corporations, but if they’re serious about going green, these are some of the things they can do, even if just for the publicity.

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2013/09/11/coke-defends-plantbottle-green-claims/ (Coca Cola Claims)
https://www.verdensskove.org/en/node/35317 ( Forests Of The World Case)
http://youtu.be/MDBrO82CErk ( Plant Bottle Ad)

Michael Dizon