Coke, Pepsi, Nestle are top creators of plastic pollution, says Greenpeace

Campaigners say analysis of waste from beach clean-ups offers ‘undeniable proof of the role corporations play in the global plastic pollution crisis’

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 8:52pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2018, 8:58pm

Drink companies Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestle were found to be the world’s biggest producers of plastic trash, a report by environmental group Greenpeace said on Tuesday.

Working with the Break Free From Plastic movement, Greenpeace said it carried out 239 plastic clean-ups in 42 countries around the world, which led to the audit of 187,000 pieces of plastic waste. The aim was to get a picture of how large corporations contribute to the problem of pollution.

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest soft drink maker, was the top waste producer, Greenpeace said, with Coke-branded plastic rubbish found in 40 of the 42 countries.

Almost quarter of plastic bottles washed up on Hong Kong beaches come from Coca-Cola Company

“These brand audits offer undeniable proof of the role that corporations play in perpetuating the global plastic pollution crisis,” said Von Hernandez, global coordinator for Break Free From Plastic.

Overall, the most common type of plastic found was polystyrene, which goes into packaging and foam coffee cups, followed closely by PET, used in bottles and containers.

“We share Greenpeace’s goal of eliminating waste from the ocean and are prepared to do our part to help address this important challenge,” a Coke spokesman said in a statement. The company has pledged to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one it sells by 2030.

Time for Hong Kong to finally get tough on plastic

All three companies have made pledges about their packaging for 2025. Coke says all its packaging will be recyclable, Nestle says it will be recyclable or reusable and PepsiCo says it will be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable.

They all say they are working to use recycled content in their packaging.

Nestle, the world’s largest food and drink maker, said it recognised the issue and is trying hard to eliminate non-recyclable plastics. It said it was also exploring different packaging solutions and ways to recycle to eliminate plastic waste.