Greenpeace Slams Coca-Cola Plastic Announcement as ‘Dodging the Main Issue’
Chris J. Ratcliffe / Greenpeace
By Louise Edge
The long awaited policy from the world's largest soft drink company featured a series of measures weaker than those previously announced for Europe and the UK.
The plan failed to include any reduction of the company's rapidly increasing use of single-use plastic bottles globally, which now stands at well more than 110 billion annually.
The massive increase in plastic waste in our oceans, and increasingly in our food chain, is a result of our dependency on throwaway items like single-use plastic bottles. Instead of focusing on reducing the amount of plastic it produces—the sure fire way to reduce ocean plastic pollution—Coca-Cola is trying to offset its huge plastic footprint by investing in a bit more recycling. China's refusal to accept more plastic waste, and the resulting backlog in plastic exporting nations, shows that we can't recycle our way out of this mess while we continue to make the mess bigger.
As the most recognizable brand in the world, and the biggest plastic bottle producer, Coca-Cola has a special responsibility to lead the way in reduction of single-use plastic. Its plan is full of band-aids and will do very little in the way of making a meaningful impact on the amount of plastic entering our waterways and food chain. Coke has a long way to go to show it is taking the plastics epidemic seriously.
Coca-Cola produces more than 110 billion single use plastic bottles each year, and billions of these end up in landfills, rivers and the sea.
Greenpeace estimates that Coke has increased its number of single-use plastic bottles by nearly a third (31 percent) since 2008 and that they now account for almost 70 percent of Coke's packaging globally. [68 percent in 2016 sustainability report]. Friday's announcement revealed no plans that would reverse this trend.
Greenpeace welcomed the announcement that Coke will be increasing the recycled content of its single-use plastic bottles from the current paltry 7 percent to 50 percent globally by 2030, although it is less ambitious than Coke UK's target of 50 percent by 2020 and Coke Europe's target of 50 percent by 2025. Greenpeace has been calling on Coke to move to 100 percent recycled content.
And while Coke now backs Deposit Return Schemes in the UK, following pressure from environmental groups, the company has not announced a similar policy change at a global level and remains opposed to schemes in many other countries, including Canada, the Netherlands and Israel.
The plan contrasts starkly with the announcement made by UK retailer Iceland earlier this week that it will become the first major retailer globally to eliminate single-use plastic packaging throughout its own brand products within 5 years, a comprehensive solution that removes the problem rather than just trying to manage it.
Greenpeace is urging Coca-Cola to make firm commitments to cut its plastic production by investing in alternatives to single-use plastic bottles, including committing to expand its use of new delivery methods such as Freestyle dispensers and self-serve water stations with reusable containers.
#SundayReading: We have a whole world of plastic that needs to be replaced with other biodegradable materials. Here… https://t.co/WCJujpM6nF— Greenpeace Africa (@Greenpeace Africa)1515917101.0
Greenpeace launched a global campaign on Coke in April 2017, involving supporters from five continents.
Last week, Greenpeace delivered a global petition signed by more than 585,000 people urging Coke to reduce its plastic footprint.
People across New England witnessed a dramatic celestial event Sunday night.
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By David Reichmuth
Over the last month, I've seen a number of opinion articles attacking electric vehicles (EVs). Sadly, this comes as no surprise: now that the Biden administration is introducing federal policies to accelerate the roll out of electric vehicles, we were bound to see a reaction from those that oppose reducing climate changing emissions and petroleum use.
The majority of EVs sold in 2020 were models with a starting price (Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price) under $40,000 and only a fifth of models had a starting price over $60,000.
On Friday, China set out an economic blueprint for the next five years, which was expected to substantiate the goal set out last fall by President Xi Jinping for the country to reach net-zero emissions before 2060 and hit peak emissions by 2030.
The Great Trail in Canada is recognized as the world's longest recreational trail for hiking, biking, and cross-country skiing. Created by the Trans Canada Trail (TCT) and various partners, The Great Trail consists of a series of smaller, interconnected routes that stretch from St. John's to Vancouver and even into the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It took nearly 25 years to connect the 27,000 kilometers of greenway in ways that were safe and accessible to hikers. Now, thanks to a new partnership with the Canadian Paralympic Committee and AccessNow, the TCT is increasing accessibility throughout The Great Trail for people with disabilities.
Trans Canada Trail and AccessNow partnership for AccessOutdoors / Trails for All project. Mapping day at Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, British Columbia with Richard Peter. Alexa Fernando<p>This partnership also comes at a time when access to outdoor recreation is more important to Canadian citizens than ever. <a href="https://www150.statcan.gc.ca/n1/daily-quotidien/200527/dq200527b-eng.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies from the spring of 2020</a> indicate that Canadian's <a href="https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/moneytalk-mental-health-during-covid-19-1.1567633" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">mental health has worsened</a> since the onset of social distancing protocols due to COVID-19. </p><p>The <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/coronavirus/in-depth/safe-activities-during-covid19/art-20489385" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Mayo Clinic</a> lists hiking, biking, and skiing as safe activities during COVID-19. Their website explains, "When you're outside, fresh air is constantly moving, dispersing these droplets. So you're less likely to breathe in enough of the respiratory droplets containing the virus that causes COVID-19 to become infected."</p><p>TCT leadership took this into consideration when embarking on the accessibility project. McMahon explains that there has never been a more important time to bring accessibility to the great outdoors: "Canadians have told us that during these difficult times, they value access to natural spaces to stay active, take care of their mental health, and socially connect with others while respecting physical distancing and public health directives. This partnership is incredibly important especially now as trails have become a lifeline for Canadians."</p><p>Together, these organizations are paving the way for better physical and mental health among all Canadians. To learn more about the TCT's mission and initiatives, check out their <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/stories/" target="_blank">trail stories</a> and <a href="https://thegreattrail.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/TCT_2020-Donor-Impact-Report_EN_8.5x14-web.pdf" target="_blank">2020 Impact Report</a>.</p>