Coca-Cola Labelled The World’s Biggest Plastic Polluter

A recent audit carried out by Break Free From Plastic found that Coca-Cola was the largest contributor to plastic pollution.

‘Mass production of Coca-Cola bottles has contributed to the growing plastic pollution issue’. Photo Credit: The Intercept.

With a total of 72,541 volunteers, the audit consisted of 848 major clean up events stretching across fifty-one countries and six continents. Overall, volunteers collected over 475,000 pieces of plastic. Coca-Cola led all brands in plastic pollution accounting for 11,732 of the total pieces collected.

Nestle and PepsiCo sit behind Coca-Cola at 4,846 and 3,362 pieces of plastic respectively. Almost tripling their plastic pollution output, Coca-Cola sits at the top of the list.

The results of the audit may shock consumers as Coca-Cola has moved towards eco-friendly policies in recent years.The 2009 PlantBottle scheme which was said to create fully recyclable packaging, may now be in question as the brand has been the largest contributor to plastic pollution for the last two years.

‘The top ten leading plastic pollution contributors’. Photo Credit: Forbes

The brand spoke on the results of the audit in a statement made to The Intercept.

“Anytime 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”.

However, leaked audio of a meeting between Coca-Cola funded organisations and recycling leaders may indicate the company is not entirely on board with plastic recycling schemes.

The growing issue of pollution has also seen other industries begin shedding light on the issue. Most recently, photographs showing the state of pollution helped photographers take home awards.

A recent report published by the WWF states that the levels of ocean plastic pollution is at risk of reaching 300 million metric tonnes by 2030. The WWF is now calling on Governments to negotiate an internationally-binding treaty for marine plastic pollution.

‘Coca-Cola’s marine bottle campaign’ – Source: Circular Online

For now, consumers of the soft-drink brand will have to wait till 2020 for any major change. The Coca-Cola marine-plastic initiative is still in trial and set to release next year.

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