The world’s biggest plastic polluter

Posted by Elise Kirsten on 1 November 2019


People from over 50 countries collected over almost half a million pieces of plastic on World Clean Up Day in September.

According to Science Alert, ‘over 40% of this trash was still clearly identifiable by brand, and one producer’s trash, in particular, was picked up much more than any other: Coca-Cola.’

Of the 476,423 pieces of plastic waste collected by over 70,000 volunteers, an audit done by environmentalist movement Break Free From Plastic (BFFP) revealed that 11,732 pieces were manufactured by Coca-Cola.

This was more than double the amount from the next biggest plastic polluter Nestlé, with 4,846 pieces of plastic rubbish collected. Pepsi was third with 3,362 followed by Mondelēz.

Unilever, and Mars also among the top 10.

According to BFFP, this is the second year that Coca Cola has been responsible for the most plastic litter.

‘This report provides more evidence that corporations urgently need to do more to address the plastic pollution crisis they’ve created,’ says BFFP global coordinator Von Hernandez.

‘Their continued reliance on single-use plastic packaging translates to pumping more throwaway plastic into the environment. Recycling is not going to solve this problem.’

The BFPP report explains that ‘of the total amount of plastic produced since the 1950s, only 9% has actually been recycled globally, with the rest being burned, landfilled or left polluting our environment.’

‘Recycling is not the magic solution it is often claimed to be… companies that are claiming it is the solution are simply avoiding making real change.’

‘There are plenty of people out there in the world who would like to see plastic go away. We know that’s not going to happen,’ said Coca-Cola’s senior director of environmental policy, Ben Jordan, at a plastic engineering conference held in Atlanta in September.

Image: Unsplash

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