Coca-Cola yet again top global plastic polluter

In 2019, 11,732 pieces of Coke-branded plastic waste was identified from 37 countries. Last year, the beverages brand accounted for 9,216 pieces of plastic waste from 40 countries

The Coca-Cola Co has emerged as the No.1 global plastic polluter for the second consecutive year, according to a report on the top 10 plastic polluting companies in the world. The beverages brand was followed by Nestlé SA and PepsiCo In.

Break Free From Plastic, a global movement against plastic, organised 484 cleanups and brand audits in 51 countries spanning six continents. It collected 476,423 pieces of plastic waste, claimed the report Branded Volume II: Identifying the World’s Top Corporate Plastic Polluters. 

Coke-branded plastic pollution emerged highest with 11,732 pieces of waste from 37 countries spanning across four continents. In 2018, the beverages brand had accounted for 9,216 pieces of plastic waste from 40 countries.

The number of plastic waste recorded by Coca-Cola was more than the next three top global plastic polluters combined, the report said.

While plastic waste from PepsiCo decreased to 3,362 in 2019 from 5,750 in 2018, waste from Nestlé, on the other hand, increased to 4,846 in 2019 from 2,950 in 2018.

“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,” stated the report.

Companies with well known brands such as Mondelēz International In, Unilever Plc, Mars Incorporated, Procter & Gamble Company, Colgate-Palmolive Company, Phillip Morris International Inc, and Perfetti Van Melle Group BV were identifed as the other top plastic polluters

India accounted for 2,066 pieces of plastic waste. SS Food Products (218) emerged the highest polluter in the country, followed by PepsiCo (120) and Britannia (110), while 515 pieces of waste were in the unbranded category, the report showed. The country is set to phase-out single-use plastics by 2022.

The most common types of plastic found was in the miscellaneous category, which includes polycarbonate, polylactide, acrylic, acrylonitrile butadiene, styrene, fiberglass, and nylon (285,254). It was followed by Polyethylene terephthalate, or PET (117,724).

Plastic bags (59,168), sachets (53,369), and plastic bottles (29,142) were the top three most common plastic items.

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