Coca-Cola is worst plastic polluter in the world for third year in a row

Posted by Lucinda Dordley on 8 December 2020

Coca-Cola has been named the world’s worst plastic polluter for the third consecutive year. The report was released by Break free From Plastic, and takes a look at plastic waste found on beaches, rivers, parks and communities across the world.

Coca-Cola branding was found to be on 13,834 pieces of plastic at 51 of the 55 sites surveyed. This was more than the combined total of branded plastics items collected from Nestlé (8,633) and PepsiCo (5,155).

The project, which was undertaken by 15,000 volunteers, collected almost 350,000 pieces of plastic waste, of which 63% was marked with an easily identifiable brand. A total of 5,000 brands were identified during the surveying process.

Greenpeace has accused Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé of failing to adequately deal with how much plastic they output and of ‘teaming up’ with oil companies to produce even more environmentally-damaging materials.

‘To stop this mess and combat climate change, multinationals like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé must end their addiction to single-use plastic packaging and move away from fossil fuels,’ said Abigail Aguilar, plastics campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Southeast Asia to The Independent.

According to research by the Changing Markets Foundation, Coca-Cola has remained the biggest plastics producer in the world and has a carbon footprint of 2.9 million tons per annum. Plastic that enters the marine environment is expected to double by 2040, and this equates to an additional 1.3 billion tons of plastic waste being dumped on both land and water bodies.

‘The world’s top polluting corporations claim to be working hard to solve plastic pollution, but instead they are continuing to pump out harmful single-use plastic packaging,’ said Emma Priestland, Break Free’s global campaigns coordinator. ‘We need to stop plastic production, phase out single-use and implement robust, standardised reuse systems. Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé should be leading the way in finding real solutions.’

According to Coca-Cola, the company is making progress on the critical issue of plastic waste.

‘Globally, we have a commitment to get every bottle back by 2030, so that none of it ends up as litter or in the oceans, and the plastic can be recycled into new bottles,’ a spokesperson said. ‘Bottles with 100 per cent recycled plastic are now available in 18 markets around the world, and this is continually growing.’

Image: Global Citizen/Facebook

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