When challenged to do just one thing to help out the environment, Coca Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England sought to show that local community that they weren’t going to pick just one.
Ray Dube, the sustainability manager for the franchise, has traveled all over New England for the last three years, speaking at schools and conferences about their local approach of making sure that their trash or waste becomes someone else’s treasure. The presentation is designed not only to inform the public about what the company is doing with their waste products, but to also inspire other businesses like theirs to adopt similar sustainability practices.
“When I talk about this in front of people, people are shocked,” Ray Dube, the sustainability manager for the New England franchise, said. “This blows their mind. Most people have no clue that this was done locally here.”
The company saves the plastic and paper products left over at the end of the day, donating it to manufacturing companies in the area, such as Foss Manufacturing in Hampton, NH and Polartec LLC in Hudson, NH. These companies will then harness the polyethylene terephthalate (more commonly referred to as PET) from the bottles and other plastic materials to make synthetic fibers that can be turned into fabrics, like the ones used to make the products for the North Face company.
“If we were landfilling all these materials, that’s an expense line.” said Ray Dube, the franchise’s sustainability manager. “What we have left at the end of the day has high value for someone to start their day with.”
Though the company has been asked by international companies for these recyclable waste products, they are “adamant about keeping it local”, according to Dube. He said that the farthest their waste goes is Pennsylvania, where their shrink wrap is sent to make Trex Decking, an increasingly popular composite decking material.