Companies like Coca-Cola are constantly running new promotions, pushing new products and tapping into new markets. Unfortunately, with all their new initiatives comes continually changing store displays that are needed to keep the brand fresh. With the constant renewal and disposal, these temporary store display create a real waste management headache for retailers and the earth. To help remedy the problem, Coca-Cola is taking an unusual step by asking US retailers to give back the shelves that hold its products. In fact, Coca-Cola is now developing a family of 100% recyclable merchandise display racks for use in US grocery and convenience stores they’ve dubbed the GIVE IT BACK racks.

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The GIVE IT BACK racks are free-standing units made of easily recyclable corrugated cardboard, designed to communicate sustainability to shoppers. Part of a place to achieve a comprehensive closed-loop retail equipment program, the new standard will see Coca-Cola creating recyclable in-store merchandise racks that can be recovered, reused and/or recycled – an industry first.

“We recovered 400 million pounds of cans and bottles in the US in 2010, yet we want to do more,” said Gary Wygant, Vice President, Business Development, Coca-Cola Recycling. “By creating a 100% recyclable merchandise display rack, Coca-Cola is asking grocery and convenience stores to join our sustainability efforts by returning or recycling our racks, just like we ask consumers to return or recycle our product packaging.”

Currently the company diverts 90% of the waste from their primary US manufacturing facilities. They hope that the new recyclable store fixtures will not only create a more closed-loop cycle within the company, but that it will also remind customers to recycle the packaging from Coke products they’ve purchased.

Brands that hold such global significance have a social and environmental responsibility to assist consumers in becoming more eco-friendly, and Coca-Cola is certainly a brand driving the sustainable agenda home. With a reported 70% of consumers now considering sustainability when making purchases, Coke’s environmental business agenda is on point.

So what’s next up for Coke? A rack made entirely from recycled PET plastic bottles!

+ Coca-Cola