How Coke’s Complacency on Packaging is Killing Our Oceans
Dear Coca Cola Employee
Everyone knows that plastic pollution is a massive problem. We’re all too familiar with seeing plastic bottles scattered along our beaches or washed up on riverbanks.
It’s clear that to stop the flow of plastic into the ocean, we need to turn the tap off at source. This means ending the era of throwaway plastic. But that’s a pretty big ask. For those of us who live for practical to-do lists, how do we do that?
We would like to ask you to commit to drastically reducing you plastic footprint, by ditching throwaway plastic. Studies estimate that 600 billion bottles will be produced globally this year – and Coca-Cola alone is responsible for a sixth of all plastic drinks bottles sold around the world.
But isn’t it up to individuals not to litter, and to make sure the plastic bottles they use are recycled?
The answer is that we all have a responsibility to reduce our plastic footprint – individuals, businesses and governments. But there is such a huge amount of plastic flowing into the ocean – a rubbish truck’s worth every single minute – that we need to tackle this problem at source.
Think about it like this: if your bath was overflowing, your priority would be to turn off the taps – you wouldn’t first start mopping up the excess water.
So to end ocean plastic pollution, we need to prioritise reducing the staggering amount of single-use plastic packaging that is being pumped out and sold to us in the first place.
Our litter collection and recycling systems simply cannot keep up with the amount of plastic we’re using. It’s unacceptable that it’s so hard to avoid buying food and drinks in throwaway plastic packaging on your weekly shop.
Whilst it’s important, it’s not enough that individuals simply recycle more, as the big drinks companies claim. Without drastic action from the industry itself as well, we won’t succeed halting the flow of plastic into the oceans.
These companies spend millions promoting themselves as eco-conscious, but we now know that Coca-Cola sells over 100 billion single-use plastic bottles every year. That means if Coke do take credible action to reduce their plastic footprint and embrace refillable packaging, that can make a massive difference to our oceans.
You’ve done it before to tackle climate change, through reducing Coke’s carbon footprint. Coca-Cola used its influence across the soft drinks sector and its global supply chain to boost momentum for phasing out highly polluting greenhouse gases from its cooling units. Now we need to do the same for Coca Cola’s plastic footprint.
Coca-Cola has already U-turned on its opposition to a deposit return scheme in Scotland this year after its own customer polling showed the majority supported this kind of scheme.
You can now join over 46,000 people who’ve written directly to Coke’s European CEO to tell him that ocean plastic pollution must end – and that he can’t keep washing his hands of the problem.
This problem isn’t going to go away unless companies like Coca-Cola drastically reduce their use of single-use plastic bottles, embrace reusable bottles and invest in ways of dispensing drinks based on re-use.
We are now begging you to take action to reduce your plastic footprint for the good of our eco-systems, our marine life and our oceans.