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Coca-Cola world’s top plastic polluter for third year

Pepsico, Nestle come in second, third places

SAMAA | - Posted: Dec 10, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Dec 10, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Coca-Cola world’s top plastic polluter for third year

Photo: AFP

Photo: AFP

Coca-Cola, Pepsico and Nestle have been named the world’s top plastic polluters for the third year running.

Break Free From Plastic released its annual brand audit in which it said these three companies have made zero progress on reducing plastic waste. Coca-Cola was ranked the world’s top plastic polluter after its bottles were the most frequently found discarded on beaches, rivers, parks and other sites in 51 of 55 countries surveyed. This is a rise from last year’s survey in which 37 out of 51 countries named it as the most frequently discarded bottle.

Graph: Break Free From Plastic/Audit Report

According to the survey, the top 10 worst polluters are:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Pepsico
  • Nestle
  • Unilever
  • Mondelez
  • Mars
  • P&G
  • Phillip Morris International
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Perfetti Van Melle

But Coca-Cola was found to be worse than PepsiCo and Nestlé combined– its branding was found on 13,834 pieces of plastic, with PepsiCo branding on 5,155 and Nestlé branding on 8,633.

Graph: Break Free From Plastic/Audit Report

The Guardian noted that Coca-Cola came under fire from environmental campaigners earlier this year when it announced it would not abandon plastic bottles, saying they were popular with customers.

The audit said these companies must reveal, reduce and reinvent. They must be transparent about how much plastic they use every year in order to set meaningful and measurable targets on plastic reduction. They must also reduce overall use of single-use plastic, because, according to the report, that’s the only way to solve the plastic pollution crisis. “Recycling alone will never be enough as most plastic cannot be effectively or economically recycled,” it read.

It also called on companies to rethink and redesign how they deliver products to their customers. Their current business models mean the burden of managing plastic disposal is on consumers, taxpayers and local governments. “This is unsustainable, unfair and has no place in a world facing multiple environmental and social justice crises.”

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