Saud Anwar

State Senator

Saud Anwar

Deputy President Pro Tempore

Working For You

March 26, 2019

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

SDO photo

State Sen. Saud Anwar and State Rep. Jeff Currey are taken on a tour of Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Northern New England bottling plant by Bryan Misenheimer, plant manager.

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.

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.

“It was wonderful to see the results of economic collaboration and shared efforts between the towns of East Hartford and South Windsor,” said Sen. Anwar, “both in how they kept jobs in our region and helped existing businesses grow.”

“I appreciate Coca-Cola extending the opportunity to visit once again with our newest state senator, Saud Anwar,” said State Representative Jeff Currey (D-East Hartford, South Windsor, Manchester). “Both the production plant and sales center offer numerous jobs and economic growth for the district, both in East Hartford and South Windsor. It was helpful to gain more knowledge on the work Coca-Cola is currently doing as we continue to consider legislation up for review during this session.”

“We’re here to showcase Coca-Cola as a premier employer and business for the community in the Greater Hartford area,” said Mayor LeClerc. “Coca-Cola is doing great things for the environment and sustainability. They’re also exploring new products to add to their offerings with reduced sugar. We know Coca-Cola’s footprint in the area is positive as a great employer and production company.”

“We’re always happy to have local elected officials into our facilities because we feel it’s one of the best ways to show people what we do as a business and how we contribute to the community,” said Nick Martin, director of public affairs and communications for Coca-Cola Northern New England. “We had some really good conversations about the products we’re offering these days and had a chance to see the breadth of the portfolio, especially the low- and no-sugar products that consumers are trending more towards now. The final piece was a discussion around recycling and sustainability. This facility is a zero-waste facility that does a lot of recycle all of the materials that come through here. As a company, we’re doing a lot to make sure our cans and bottles are recovered responsibly and given new life so they have a second use.”