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    Drinking in Sustainability

    The beverage industry is embracing greener ways with vigor.

    Now when consumers kick back and sip their favorite soft drinks, they can rest easy that this simple action is helping to save the world. That’s not strictly true of all brands, of course, but the industry’s leaders have been making huge strides in the adoption eco-friendly measures.

    For instance, natural beverage company Odwalla will transition all of its drinks to the 100 percent recyclable PlantBottle – made, as the name cleverly implies, from plant materials – in March 2011. And that’s just the latest of this brand’s green initiatives, some of which are enumerated in the article below. For a product line like Odwalla, which stresses individual health and well-being through natural ingredients, shifting the focus a little to include the health of the entire planet makes sense.

    But even when the players are mainstream as they come, they’re doing their part to preserve the planet. For instance, the revolutionary initiative “Recycle and Win,” for which iconic brand Coca-Cola has joined forces with the city of Charlotte, N.C.; surrounding Mecklenburg County, Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful and hometown grocer Harris Teeter, aims to catch – and reward -- people recycling the right way.

    Coca-Cola’s many sustainability efforts even extend beyond the industry to the tangible symbols of the United States itself, through its participation in the ongoing project to maintain the National Mall. In support of this worthy cause, the brand has donated hundreds of recycling bins and trailers.

    These examples are just the tip of the iceberg – perhaps the more apt expression might be “the top of the ice cube” – as consumer awareness of sustainability continues to grow, and an increasing number of environmentally friendly solutions become practical realities.

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