25 May 2010

an ad campaign I can get behind

About 4 years ago, Coca-Cola came to the furniture design company Emeco with a proposal:  they wanted Emeco to help them demonstrate the value of recycling, especially considering they had a new recycling plant in South Carolina that was processing thousands of bottles a day. Together, with some smarty pants scientists and some sharp designers, they created the Emeco 111 Navy Chair, made from 111 recycled coke bottles.

Emeco worked with chemical company BASF to create a special blend of rPET (Recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate, aka recycled plastic bottles) that, combined with glass fiber and pigment, created strong, sturdy, and all over good looking chairs.

Let's pause for a stat, shall we? Around the world, 80% of plastic bottles are recycled. In the US, it's around 20%. (20%!! Hey US: The Pacific Northwest is frowning at you. Get your sh*t together.) Emeco estimates that they can use about 3 million bottles a year. Let's type that out so you can see the zeros: 3,000,000. What's more, these chairs are giving people a tangible, real-life result of recycling. If someone is like "Recycling is a load of bunk, it's dumb, and there's no point," you can now say, "Listen up jackass: there is a point, it takes product that was going to go to landfills - where it can't decay and which eats up valuable real estate - and instead uses it to create this beautiful chair." Man, that makes me feel good. Go ahead - say that last sentence out loud. How do you feel? Good huh? I knew it.

Anyway, all of this makes me want to drink Coke. It makes me want to drink Coke as I walk over and drop cash at Design Within Reach, where these chairs are sold.

Read about it here. Go buy them here. Even better? They are half the price of the traditional Navy Chairs (which still ain't cheap, but it's something.) Innovation like this makes me all sorts of happy.

Stepping of my soapbox now.


  1. What an awesome idea! I love these chairs. And seriously how are we only at 20 % ?? So sad.

  2. I remember seeing this somewhere. I love that idea. I'm not a fan of Coca Cola but I will give them credit for such a great idea.

  3. Nice, I am totally loving this. Except for that piss poor stat. Boo!

  4. these chairs are amazing! and made from recycled products... LOVE IT. thanks so much for sharing.

  5. Anonymous26 May, 2010

    damn my non-pop lifestyle and personal boycott against DWR... this is quite good!

  6. I love this! Way to use what you have and make it better. Good for them and thank you for letting us know.


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