During August and September, The Coca-Cola Company’s is making a visible commitment to environmental stewardship through T-shirts being worn by the world’s greatest athletes at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and Beijing 2008 Paralympic Games.
Coca-Cola is providing every 2008 Olympian and Paralympian arriving in Beijing with a unique item from its new line of “sustainable fashion”: Coca-Cola T-shirts or visors made from a blend of cotton and recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET), the material widely used for plastic beverage bottles.
The innovative apparel items have been produced exclusively for the competitors and attending staff from all participating national teams: T-shirts for the approximately 15,000 athletes, coaches and other team officials participating in the Olympic Games August 8-24, and visors for the estimated 7,000 athletes and coaches who will take part in the Paralympic Games September 6-17.
The front of the T-shirts and bill of the visors are imprinted with the proclamation, “I’m from Earth.” The slogan signifies both the effort to conserve the planet’s resources and the message of unity as the world comes together for its greatest sporting spectacles.
The one-of-a-kind items being presented the athletes and officials are intended to demonstrate the high value of PET bottles and how they can be turned into desirable products. All Coca-Cola staff working at the Olympic Games also are being outfitted with apparel items – including shirts, lanyards and hats – made with recycled PET. The Coca-Cola Company is showcasing merchandise made with the recycled material to raise awareness about the many ways plastic beverage bottles can be reused.
The back of the commemorative T-shirts provided to this year’s Olympians includes the silhouettes of five trademark Coca-Cola contour bottles – a “5 Inside” graphic symbol indicating the number of PET bottles recovered and incorporated into each finished T-shirt. The visors for the Paralympians sport one contour bottle silhouette, indicating part of one PET bottle was used to manufacture each piece of headwear.
With recycled PET items produced for roughly 22,000 athletes, coaches and other team officials participating in the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, the reclamation effort kept more than 85,000 plastic bottles out of the waste stream. That figure jumps to more than 200,000 plastic bottles – weighing roughly 6 tons – reclaimed when the production of apparel for Coca-Cola staff is also considered.
In addition, the commitment by Coca-Cola to fabricate the special items using Chinese suppliers stimulated development of supplementary production capabilities utilizing recycled PET within China’s manufacturing base.
Beyond those infrastructural enhancements, one very custom-made T-shirt order was filled, to fit China’s 7-foot-6 (2.29-meter) Olympic basketball hero, Yao Ming.
The T-shirt back and visor band also feature the new “Live Positively” mantra created by Coca-Cola – a public manifestation of the Company’s philosophical approach to building sustainable communities, through initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where it operates. The Live Positively concept grew from the recognition that sustainable growth for The Coca-Cola Company is integrally connected to both its business and its marketing success, as well as its societal role.
“Live Positively is our collective effort to redesign the way we work and live, the products we make and how we make them, and the impact we can have on the world, to make a positive difference,” explained David G. Brooks, general manager, 2008 Olympic Project Group, Coca-Cola (China) Beverages Ltd. “The Olympic Games have provided us exciting opportunities to help raise global awareness about the importance of environmental stewardship, while seeking to inspire action in all the communities we serve.
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