Senator Anwar, Representative Currey, Mayor Leclerc Learn About Coca-Cola’s Economic Growth, Health and Recycling Initiatives

EAST HARTFORD, CT – This week, State Senator Saud Anwar (D-East Hartford), State Representative Jeff Currey (D-East Hartford) and East Hartford Mayor Marcia Leclerc received a tour of East Hartford’s Coca-Cola bottling plant. During their trip through the facility, they learned about the more than $50 million Coca-Cola invested into its East Hartford and soon-to-come South Windsor locations and discussed legislation currently considered in the State Capitol.

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Monday’s visit at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England centered around the facility’s $65 million in investments in the 3rd District, including a $43 million sales and distribution center in South Windsor. That new center allows for the company to expand its East Hartford Production Center by investing in a $22 million can production line there. Not only will this generate more local tax revenue in South Windsor, increasing the town’s annual intake by more than $100,000, but it will lead to new jobs at the facilities. These investments come after Coca-Cola spent an additional $18 million on a new automation system in 2015 at the plant, designed to create new efficiencies in order collection and distribution.

Discussions during the tour covered several issues legislators are deliberating, including a proposed tax on sugary drinks and a proposed expansion of the state’s bottle bill. Sen. Anwar, a medical doctor, mentioned the tax on sugary drinks in response to health concerns, with the discussion turning toward Coca-Cola’s increased focus on low- and no-calorie beverages. These alternatives to sugary drinks are becoming increasingly popular among consumers and meet the company’s efforts to provide consumers with choices for their benefit, officials said.

Environmental and recycling initiatives are also growing at Coca-Cola. Last year, CCNNE said, it recycled nearly 12 million pounds of bottle materials and nearly 9.5 million pounds of aluminum at its facilities. Sen. Anwar and Rep. Currey discussed continuing and new models of environmental protection growing at the company’s plants.

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