Thinking about green bottles

03 October 2012 by

Reading a story on Business Green yesterday got me thinking...

Coca-Cola have, as a part of their commitment to legacy on the Olympic games committed to producing more of their plastic bottles from recycled material.

Coca-Cola sold 17 million bottles at Games venues, and collected 10.5 million for recycling. Using these 10.5 million bottles as a raw material, it was able to create 42 million "green" bottles during the Olympics, avoiding 290 tonnes of waste to landfill and saving an estimated 310 tonnes of carbon.

The perennial problem with numbers such as these is that they're almost too big to make any sense. I had a bit of a think about exactly how we could effectively communicate just how many bottles 42 million is, and realised that as always it's just about making sure you use a frame of reference that everybody understands. If it's also one that is genuinely interesting or outside of what might be expected, then that will certainly help. So -

From the recyclable waste collected during the Olympics, Coca-Cola made 42 million "Green" bottles. How many is that? Well, put it this way - if you started singing 42 million green bottles on January 1st 2000, you'd finish on March 16th. Next year.

You'd probably have a very sore throat by the time that song finished.

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