Environmental groups name Coca Cola as worst plastic polluter

For the second year running, a report by an environmental group has found Coca Cola to be the worst company for plastic pollution. The company came top in the list by the group Break Free From Plastic of the most polluting firms globally.

The report was put together by recording plastic collected during 484 beach cleanups in over 50 countries. It was found that the amount of Coca Cola products that were collected was much higher than the other polluters – more than three times that of the next three companies combined.

Nestle was second on the list, followed by Pepsi. Among some of the other names on the top polluters list were Unilever, P&G, Mars, Colgate-Palmolive, and Modelez International.

Von Hernandez, global coordinator at Break Free From Plastic, said: “This report provides more evidence that corporations urgently need to do more to address the plastic pollution crisis they’ve created. 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.”

Louise Edge, head of Greenpeace UK’s ocean plastics campaign added: “Yet again we’re seeing these corporate giants such as Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and Pepsi polluting our rivers and beaches with plastic.”

“But when it comes to their policies on plastics it’s clear that these huge global brands are planning to fail. They’ll continue to be the worst polluters for years to come unless they radically change their policies.”

“These companies have the resources to come up with innovative reusable and refillable packaging. But instead they focus on recycling or swapping from one throwaway packaging to another. We urge these plastic polluters to focus on switching to reusable and refillable packaging now.”

Coca Cola responded by saying it plans to address the issue, with a spokesperson saying: “Any time our packaging ends up in our oceans – or anywhere that it doesn’t belong – is unacceptable to us.”

“In partnership with others, we are working to address this critical global issue, both to help turn off the tap in terms of plastic waste entering our oceans and to help clean up the existing pollution. ​At a global level, we are part of key coalitions that work together to clean up plastic pollution.”

“We co-founded the World Economic Forum Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), a collaboration with government and stakeholders in coastal economies to address plastic waste with specific programmes launched in Indonesia, Vietnam & Ghana to date.”

“We are also part of the G7 Ocean Plastics Charter and alongside key industry partners, invested $15m in Circulate Capital, an impact-investment firm aiming to keep plastic waste out of the world’s oceans.”


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