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From Clutter To Commodity

Coca Cola is one of the most recognizable product names in the world. Point-Of-Sale advertising materials for the company appear in every type of retail outlet in the world and change as often as their customer’s tastes. This means sales distribution centers become a dumping ground for old displays composed of multiple materials (i.e. metal, wood, cardboard, plastic.) Coca Cola challenged ESMG to find a way of recycling this material, leading to a successful cornerstone in their company-wide recycling initiative.

ESMG began the process of reducing waste for Coca Cola by auditing the sales and distribution center in North Brunswick, NJ. Many POS (Point of Sale) materials were constantly bring returned to the center by salespeople and drivers after they were collected from numerous locations. POS materials are usually made of corrugated plastic and reinforced with a metal frame and occasionally a wooden base. Corrugated cardboard is sometimes used as an alternative to plastic.

The materials were normally disposed of by dumping them into facility waste containers after a sales campaign or by ordering a costly open top roll-off style container. The type of plastic used in these displays is usually a heavier #5 plastic which is not normally recycled at facilities designed to handle #1 & #2 types of plastic. Displays were also kept wrapped in plastic while in storage which made them even more difficult to handle.

We searched for a facility that could accept the materials AS IS and “de-manufacture” the products into basic recyclable commodities.

Once a local recycling facility was found (carbon footprint was also an important concern, ) ESMG performed an audit of its operations to ensure materials were recycled at their published rates.

The first loads of POS materials brought to the recycler resulted in a 95%+ recycling rate. ESMG also began an extensive internal recycling program, including everything from pallets to bottles & cans, office paper to batteries.

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