In a recent audit carried out globally, it has been concluded that Coco-Cola, one of the biggest soft drink and beverages brands of the world is behind spreading the highest amount of plastic pollution across 37 different countries of the world.
‘Break Free From Plastic’ is a global movement which aimed at fighting plastic pollution, organised 484 cleanups and brand audits in 51 different countries spanning across six continents. As per the conclusion report of the audit, the volunteers collected 476,423 pieces of plastic waste, claimed the report. Amongst this, the famous brand Coco-cola labelled plastic bottles were amongst the most collected plastic garbage around 37 countries.
The movement encompassed more than 72,000 volunteers who went on to beaches to collect plastic disposables such as bottles, cups, wrappers, bags, and scraps for the one-day cleanup in September 2019. This collection movement was the deciding factor for the results of the audit.
The audit was conducted in an organized and planned manner and this helped volunteers to identify 50 different types of plastic that could be traced back to almost 8,000 brands.
During the whole movement, of the total plastic identified, most common were polycarbonate, polylactide, acrylic, acrylonitrile butadiene, styrene, fibreglass, and nylon, followed by Polyethylene terephthalate. Further, Plastic bags (59,168), sachets (53,369), and plastic bottles (29,142) were the top three contributors to plastic pollution.
As per the figures suggested by the auditors, Coca-Cola was responsible for 11,732 pieces of plastic litter across 37 countries in four continents. Apart from this, Nestle, PepsiCo, Mondelez (Parent Brand of Oreo, Ritz, Nabisco, and Nutter Butter and Unilever) are amongst the top contributors to plastic littering.
The report highlighted the role of these brand manufacturers in reducing the plastic pollution by stating, “It will be impossible for the world to reduce plastic pollution without these brands making major changes to how they deliver their products. The time of relying on single-use packaging is over.”
Further, showing the criticality of the situation, the report said that it is impossible to track the origin or source of disposal of the plastic because of exploding plastic erosion around the world.
The movement which went on for nine months across six continents encompassing 239 cleanup events, concluded with a list of least commonly found in global brand spreading most plastic pollution.
5. Mondelez International
6. Procter & Gamble
8. Perfetti van Melle
9. Mars Incorporated
And that’s just the top ten out of hundreds of multinational brands contributing to plastic pollution across the globe.
While Coke was the major plastic polluter in Africa and Europe and the 2nd largest in Asia and South America, Nestle along with Solo Cup and Starbucks were the bigger player for North America.
While signifying their objectives and goals, the group of volunteers from ‘Break Free from Plastic’ said: “Only by highlighting the real culprits can, we can push them to change their packaging and destructive throwaway business model.”
The group further added, “A powerful tool to challenge the corporate narrative that plastic pollution is a waste management issue caused by individual consumers.”
Further, the global coordinator at Break Free from Plastic, Von Hernandez said, “Their continued reliance on single-use plastic packaging translates to pumping more throwaway plastic into the environment.”
“Recycling is not going to solve this problem,” he added.
This movement has forced the major corporations to focus on reducing the production of single-use plastic and find alternative solutions to market their products and curb pollution.