For a second year running, Coca-Cola was found to be the largest polluting brand in a global audit of plastic waste carried out by the Break Free From Plastic global movement. The giant soda company was accountable for more plastic litter than the next top three polluters combined.
The audit was carried out by over 72,000 volunteers who counted plastic on beaches, waterways, and streets near their offices and homes in the one-day cleanup in September in 37 countries. Coke was accountable for 11,732 pieces of plastic followed by Nestle, PepsiCo, Mondelez International — manufacturer of snack brands like Oreo, Ritz, Nabisco, and Nutter Butter — and Unilever.
Coca-Cola while answering questions about the brand audit said,
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.
Coke’s statement also said that are investing locally in every market to increase recovery of bottles and cans and recently announced the launch in Vietnam of an industry-backed packaging recovery organization, as well as a bottler-led investment of $19 million in the Philippines in a new food-grade recycling facility. Coke is also investing to accelerate key innovations that will help to reduce waste, including new enhanced recycling technologies that enable recycling poor quality PET plastic, often destined for incineration or landfill, back to high-quality food packaging material.