Coca-Cola is World's Leading Plastic Polluter, Says Report

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by KnowESG,

Coca-Cola HBC AG

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According to a recent survey, Coca-Cola, the sponsor of the Cop27 United Nations Climate Summit in Egypt, has been named the worst plastic polluter in the world for the fifth time in a row, followed by its competitor PepsiCo.

Break Free From Plastic, an association of over 2,700 non-governmental organisations fighting to reduce single-use plastic, discovered that the US-based corporation was the world's "top polluter" this year in its annual brand audit.

Brand audits are carried out to collect evidence to hold firms accountable for plastic that is not recyclable or that may be recyclable but ends up as discarded waste.

Between 2018 and 2022, members and more than 200,000 volunteers in 87 countries collected trash indoors and outdoors, on streets and in neighbourhoods, for the brand audit. In total, Break Free From Plastic collected 2,125,414 pieces of plastic trash.

Break Free From Plastic said that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Unilever, Mondelez International, Mars, Procter & Gamble, Philip Morris International, Danone, and Ferrero Group were the producers of plastic waste.

This year alone, more than 31,000 Coca-Cola branded products were discovered — more than 1000 waste products in 11 countries and more than 30,000 in 39 countries, according to the report.

“Year after year, the exact same FMCG companies continue to dominate the list, with the Coca-Cola Company standing out as the clear top polluter by a significant margin over all five years,” Break Free From Plastic said, referring to fast-moving consumer goods, an industry term for soft drinks and food products in disposable plastic containers.

While Coca-Cola was the top polluter in a dozen nations, including Bangladesh, Argentina, Malaysia, Kenya, and Turkey, PepsiCo was the top polluter in both the US and India this year.

This year's top polluter in the UK was Philip Morris International, a global tobacco firm.

Food packaging such as wrappers, coffee cups, sachets, cigarette ends, and surgical masks were the most common type of waste among the 999,999 plastic waste items discovered.

Source: The National News

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