16 facts you didn't know about the world's most iconic brand, Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is arguably the world’s largest and most iconic brand. Whether you enjoy it with ice and lemon, or prefer yours laced with vodka most of the world’s population drink it on a regular basis. But how much do you really know about this household name?
- In 2012, more than 1.8 billion people in over 200 countries drank a Coke every day.
- Coca-Cola uses 79 billion gallons of water each year to produce Coke. Added to this water is a secret recipe of sugar (or high-fructose corn syrup), caffeine, coca leaf extract and flavourings.
- An estimated eight thousand billion gallons of water is used to make Coke bottles and cans each year.
- Chemist John Stith Pemberton from Georgia, U.S. first created Coca-Cola in 1886. Originally it was labeled as ‘brain tonic’ and promised to ‘cure morphine and opium habits and desire for intoxicants’.
- The original Coca-Cola recipe contained cocaine.
- Initially Coke bottles came in many shapes and colours: clear, green, brown, straight-sided and squat. The classic design, known as the ‘hobbleskirt’, that became the brand’s signature did not appear until 1916.
- In 1893, North Carolina businessman Caleb Bradham launched a copycat product, without the coca leaf extract. He called it Brad’s Drink. Five years later, looking for a name to convey its fizzy appeal, he rebranded it… as Pepsi-Cola.
- By 1903, all traces of cocaine from Coke were removed.
- The first glass of soda fountain Coke was poured in 1886.
- In 1943, Coca-Cola got the order that turned it into a global brand. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the future U.S. president, placed a contract for six million bottles of Coke each month for the troops.
- The fast food chain McDonald’s is Coca-Cola’s biggest customer. Their franchise outlets don’t sell ready-mixed Coke in bottles or cans — they purchase the syrup and dilute it with soda dispensers, just as it was first sold in the 1880s.
- The acid in Coke can eat through steel cans, so now the cans have a protective polymer lining.
- The first Coke cans were manufactured in 1955.
- To encourage people to pick up litter, Coca-Cola launched the ‘Bend A Little’ campaign. Posters featured a young woman bending over to clear up cans and rubbish. Another billboard featured a Coke bottle with the slogan, ‘If you love me, don’t leave me.’
- In 1955, the average American drank 11 gallons of fizz every year. By 2005, that had more than tripled, to 36 gallons.
- The company’s adverts have always celebrated the drink’s popularity. In 1917, billboards boasted how many bottles were drunk: ‘Three Million A Day’. By 1925, it had doubled to ‘Six Million A Day’ — a mere third of a single percent of today’s demand. But the most famous was never an official slogan — the pop song, I’d Like To Buy The World A Coke, was from a 1971 television ad.
Extracted from Citizen Coke, The making Of Coca-Cola Capitalism, by Bartow J. Elmore, published by Norton, priced £17.99
Ultium Cells LLC/Li-Cycle: Sustainable Battery Manufacturing
Ultium Cells LLC - a joint venture between General Motors and LG Energy Solutions - has announced its latest collaboration with Li-Cycle. Joining forces the two have set ambitions to expand recycling in North America, recycling up to 100% of the scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing
What is Ultium Cells LLC?
Announcing their partnership in December 2019, General Motors (GM) and LG Energy Solutions established Ultium Cells LLC with a mission to “ensure excellence of Battery Cell Manufacturing through implementation of best practices from each company to contribute [to the] expansion of a Zero Emission propulsion on a global scale.”
Who is Li-Cycle?
Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle leverages innovative solutions to address emerging and urgent challenges around the world.
As the use of Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries in automotive, industrial energy storage, and consumer electronic applications rises, Li-Cycle believes that “the world needs improved technology and supply chain innovations to better recycle these batteries, while also meeting the rapidly growing demand for critical and scarce battery-grade materials.”
Why are Ultium Cells LLC and Li-Cycle join forces?
By joining forces to expand the recycling of scrap materials in battery cell manufacturing in North America, the new recycling process will allow Ultium Cells LLC to recycle cobalt, nickel, lithium, graphite, copper, manganese and aluminum.
“95% of these materials can be used in the production of new batteries or for adjacent industries,” says GM, who explains that the new hydrometallurgical process emits 30% less greenhouse gases (GHGs) than traditional processes, minimising the environmental impact. Use of this process will begin later in the year (2021).
"Our combined efforts with Ultium Cells will be instrumental in redirecting battery manufacturing scrap from landfills and returning a substantial amount of valuable battery-grade materials back into the battery supply chain. This partnership is a critical step forward in advancing our proven lithium-ion resource recovery technology as a more sustainable alternative to mining, " said Ajay Kochhar, President, CEO and co-founder of Li-Cycle.
"GM's zero-waste initiative aims to divert more than 90% of its manufacturing waste from landfills and incineration globally by 2025. Now, we're going to work closely with Ultium Cells and Li-Cycle to help the industry get even better use out of the materials,” added Ken Morris, Vice President of Electric and Autonomous Vehicles, GM.
Since 2013, GM has recycled or reused 100% of the battery packs it has received from customers, with most current GM EVs repaired with refurbished packs.
"We strive to make more with less waste and energy expended. This is a crucial step in improving the sustainability of our components and manufacturing processes,” concluded Thomas Gallagher, Chief Operating Officer, Ultium Cells LLC.