Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle found to be worst plastic polluters: Break Free From Plastic Movement

Oct 9, 2018 21:27 IST
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle found to be worst plastic polluters: Break Free From Plastic Movement

The ‘Break Free From Plastic Movement’ on October 9, 2018 revealed that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle are among the companies that contribute most to ocean pollution with single-use plastics.

As per the study, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestle were the most frequent companies in contributing to ocean pollution, identified in 239 cleanups and brand audits spanning 42 countries and six continents.

What is Break Free From Plastic Movement?

The ‘Break Free From Plastic Movement’ is a global movement that envisions a future free from plastic pollution.

The movement was launched in September 2016 with nearly 1300 international organisations joining the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis.

These organisations share the common values of environmental protection and social justice.

Key highlights

Between September 9 and 15, 2018, over 10000 volunteers carried out 239 plastic cleaning actions on coasts and other natural environments in 42 countries.

Over 187,000 pieces of plastic trash were audited, identifying thousands of brands which package their products in the single-use plastics that pollute oceans and waterways globally.

Coca-Cola was the top polluter in the global audit. The organisation discovered Coke-branded plastic used bottles in 40 of the 42 participating countries.

The audit found that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestle, Danone, Mondelez International, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Perfetti van Melle, Mars Incorporated, and Colgate-Palmolive were the most frequent multinational brands collected in cleanups.

These brands were found in at least ten of the 42 participating countries.

Overall, polystyrene, which is not recyclable in most locations, was the most common type of plastic found, followed closely by PET, a material used in bottles, containers, and other packaging.

Region-wise highlights

The top polluters in Asia were Coca-Cola, Perfetti van Melle and Mondelez International brands. These brands accounted for 30 percent of all branded plastic pollution counted by volunteers across Asia.

In Asia a week-long cleanup and audit at the Philippines’ Freedom Island in 2017 discovered that Nestle and Unilever are the top polluters.

In North and South America, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle brands were the top polluters identified, accounting for 64 and 70 percent of all the branded plastic pollution, respectively.

In Latin America, brand audits put responsibility on the companies that produce useless plastics and the governments that allow corporations to place the burden from extraction to disposal.

In Europe, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestle brands were again the top identified polluters, accounting for 45 percent of the plastic pollution found in the audits there.

In Australia, 7-Eleven, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s brands were the top polluters identified, accounting for 82 percent of the plastic pollution found.

In Africa, ASAS Group, Coca-Cola, and Procter & Gamble brands were the top brands collected, accounting for 74 percent of the plastic pollution there.

Few Facts on Plastic Pollution

• Every year, world uses 500 billion plastic bags and at least 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in the oceans, the equivalent of a full garbage truck every minute.

• 50 percent of the plastic we use is single-use or disposable plastic.

• Over 1 million plastic bottles are purchased in every one minute.

• Plastic makes up 10 per cent of all of the waste generated in the world.


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