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Oceans
Coke bottles found on Mull Beach in Scotland. Will Rose / Greenpeace

10 Worst Plastic Polluting Companies Found by Global Cleanups

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé were identified as the world's biggest producers of plastic trash in global cleanups and brand audits, a new report from Greenpeace and the Break Free From Plastic movement reveals.

Over the span of nine months, an international team of volunteers sorted through 187,000 pieces of plastic trash collected from 239 cleanups in 42 countries around the world.

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utt73 / Flickr / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

U.S. Allows Nestlé to Keep Piping Water From Drought-Ridden Southern California

The U.S. Forest Service offered Nestlé a three-year permit on Wednesday to keep taking millions of gallons of water from the San Bernardino National Forest in California, the Associated Press reported.

The offer has certain restrictions. Nestlé, which sells bottled water under the Arrowhead brand, can continue piping from the Strawberry Creek watershed "when there is water available consistent with the forest's Land Management Plan," according to the AP, citing the Forest Service offer. The watershed is currently rated as "impaired."

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Big Bear Lake is a major reservoir in the Santa Ana River watershed in the San Bernardino Mountains. Darkest tree / CC BY 3.0

Settlement Ends Nestlé’s Expired 'Zombie' Permit to Siphon Water From San Bernardino National Forest

Federal officials and conservation groups reached an agreement Wednesday that will finally end Nestlé Corp.'s ability to rely on a permit that expired 30 years ago to siphon water from the San Bernardino National Forest for its massive bottled-water operation. The company's diversion has severely reduced water in spring-fed Strawberry Creek, which forest wildlife and plants need to survive.

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Business
Freedom Island Beach in the Philippines. Greenpeace

Nestlé's Plastic Initiative Called 'Greenwashing' by Greenpeace

The environmental impact of the world's plastic consumption is profound. Plastic trash and the tiny pieces that chip off it can be found everywhere—in oceans, marine life, land and our bodies, too.

To help solve this planetary crisis, Nestlé pledged Tuesday to make all its plastic packaging 100 percent recyclable or reusable by 2025. The Swiss food giant envisions a world where "none of its packaging, including plastics, ends up in landfill or as litter," it said.

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Kate Ter Haar / Flickr

Michigan Lets Nestlé Draw More Groundwater for Bottling

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) has granted Nestlé Waters a permit to increase groundwater withdrawal from 250 gallons per minute to 400 gallons per minute from its White Pine Springs well for the purpose of bottling drinking water.

The approval comes despite near universal opposition from residents, who cite the Swiss food and beverage giant's nominal $200-a-year fee to pump water from its wells. The fee will not change with the new permit.

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Health

ricardo / zone41.net

Study: 93% of Bottled Water Contains Microplastics

You now have another good reason to avoid bottled water. An investigation on brands from around the world determined that the water is often contaminated with tiny pieces of plastic.

The new study, conducted by journalism organization Orb Media and researchers at the State University of New York at Fredonia, has already prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to launch a review into the potential risks of plastic in drinking water.

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64 percent of bottled water comes from municipal tap water sources.

Report: 64% of Bottled Water Is Tap Water, Costs 2000x More

By Julia Conley

Bottled water companies have relied on predatory marketing practices and exorbitant lobbying efforts to sell Americans on the inaccurate belief that pre-packaged water is cleaner and safer than tap water—a notion that is costing U.S. households about $16 billion per year.

In a new report entitled "Take Back the Tap," Food & Water Watch explains that 64 percent of bottled water comes from municipal tap water sources—meaning that Americans are often unknowingly paying for water that would otherwise be free or nearly free.

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The Chippewa River in Michigan. Chippewa Nature Center

Update on Nestlé: Michiganders Mobilize to Take Back Public Water

By Miranda Fox

The Swiss multinational Nestlé has been facing increasing scrutiny in Michigan. Outside of the small town of Evart, a mere 128 miles from Flint, Nestlé is attempting to increase how much spring water it is taking for water bottling. Nestlé submitted an application with Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) late last year to increase pumping from 250 to 400 gallons per minute at its White Pine Springs well No. 101 in Osceola County. However, local residents and Michiganders across the state came together in droves at the last public meeting to speak out against Nestlé's proposal. More than 500 attended the meeting, and nearly everyone opposed the application.

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Food
Semakokal / iStock

Nestlé Wants to Suck Even More Water Out of Michigan

By Sami Mericle

Given that Michigan, the "Great Lakes State," is practically surrounded by water, the state sure has trouble managing its water.

Five state officials were recently charged with involuntary manslaughter for their roles in a public health crisis that has left the city of Flint without drinkable tap water for years following widespread lead poisoning and an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. In another highly publicized case, during the last several years thousands of Detroit residents found their water disconnected for nonpayment in what United Nations experts deemed a violation of human rights.

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