JUNE 2010
                                        

Coca-Cola and Emeco create chair made from recycled plastic bottles

This chair utilizes at least 111 recycled plastic bottles in its construction.

The Coca-Cola Company and furniture manufacturer, Emeco, have combined their products, the Coca-Cola contour bottle package and the Navy® Chair, to create a new chair made from at least 111 recycled plastic bottles. The aptly named “111 Navy Chair™” debuted at the 2010 Salone Internazionale del Mobile, one of the top furniture trade shows in the world.

Modeled after the original aluminum Emeco Navy Chair, designed in 1944 for the United States Navy, each 111 Navy Chair contains a mix of 60 percent recycled polyethylene terephthalate plastic (rPET) and a special combination of other materials including pigment and glass fiber for strength. It is estimated that more than three million PET plastic bottles will be repurposed annually for the production of 111 Navy Chairs.

“The 111 Navy Chair is a reflection of our commitment to sustainability, constant innovation and originality in design,” said Kate Dwyer, group director, worldwide licensing, for The Coca-Cola Company. “This latest addition to our line of rPET licensed merchandise underscores the fact that Coca-Cola bottles are valuable recyclables. It is another step in our vision to recover and reuse all of our bottles and cans.”

The rPET content in each chair is sourced from the world’s largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant that began operation in 2009 in Spartanburg, South Carolina in the United States through a partnership between The Coca-Cola Company and United Resource Recovery Corp.

The chairs will be available for sale in June 2010 in select retail locations worldwide and can also be ordered by sending an e-mail. 111 Navy Chairs are available in six colors: Coca-Cola Red, Snow, Flint, Grass, Persimmon and Charcoal.

“When Coca-Cola approached me with this project I jumped on it,” said Gregg Buchbinder, chairman of Emeco. “Although reengineering a core product is a significant investment for us, I was excited about the impact of reusing the PET from about three million plastic bottles a year. That’s a lot of bottles and a lot of chairs. The new chair is the strongest, and most beautiful we can make. We’ve turned something many people throw away into something you want and can keep for a long, long time.”

Coca-Cola first launched rPET merchandise in 2007 as a way to inspire people to recycle by showing them how PET bottles can be transformed into products for everyday use. rPET merchandise includes t-shirts, bags, caps, notebooks and now a chair made of recycled plastic bottles. Each item indicates the number of plastic bottles used to create it.