Coca-Cola and PepsiCo the biggest polluters across the globe

October 29, 2019 | 11:56
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Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have released the greatest amount of plastic rubbish in the world, according to information published by Break Free from Plastics – a global alliance working to call attention to alarming environmental issues at corporations.
coca cola and pepsico the biggest polluters across the globe
Coca-Cola once again ranks as the largest polluter on the globe

The alliance’s report pointed out that a significant portion of plastic floating in the ocean originated from multinational conglomerates like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Accordingly, Break Free from Plastics volunteers collected nearly half a million pieces of plastic waste in 51 countries on World Clean-Up Day (September 21), 43 per cent of which were marked by consumer brands.

This is the second year in a row that Coca-Cola was recognised as the largest polluter brand with 11,732 pieces collected in 37 countries, equalling the amount collected from the three next brands on the list.

According to the report, many of the brands taking up prominent positions on the ranking have made public commitments about making their products more sustainable, but are in fact only protecting their out-of-date business model – littering right from the beginning.

China, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka released the most garbage into the ocean but the lion's share came from multinational companies headquartered in the EU and the US.

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and other firms have to take responsibility for their waste, along with Mondelez International, Mars, P&G, and Colgate-Palmolive that are also high on the list.

To resolve these problems, the brands have been researching new, more sustainable packaging materials like paper. However, some of the alternatives may only lead to new kinds of pollution.

Recent commitments by corporations like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to address the crisis, unfortunately, continue to rely on false solutions like replacing plastic with paper or bioplastics and relying more heavily on a broken global recycling system, quotes Abigail Aguilar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia plastic campaign co-ordinator.

The report suggested that cities are beginning to adopt a zero-waste lifestyle. It also suggested brands set up a delivery system for refills, that people use traditional packaging like banana leaves, and that consumers use their own reusable materials, reported.

Talking to VIR, Le Thi Cam Ly, Coca-Cola Vietnam's director of Legal and Communications said: "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."

Coca-Cola is part of key coalitions that work together to clean up plastic pollution. It 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 and Ghana to date.

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

By Van Anh

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