Quantcast

Greenpeace Slams Coca-Cola Plastic Announcement as ‘Dodging the Main Issue’

Popular

Chris J. Ratcliffe / Greenpeace

By Louise Edge

Friday Greenpeace criticized Coca-Cola's new global plastics plan for failing to address the urgency of ocean plastic pollution.

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.

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.

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less