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Coca-Cola Will Not Ditch Single-Use Plastic
Earlier this year, in what seems like a major backwards step, Bea Perez, Coca-Cola’s head of sustainability, told the BBC that Coca-Cola will not ditch single-use plastic bottles because consumers still want them.
Perez claims that consumers like the plastic bottles that Coca-Cola provides because they are lightweight and can be resealed.
Despite its refusal to stop producing single-use plastic bottles, the firm has pledged to recycle as many plastic bottles as it uses by 2030. However, many environmental campaigners argue that innumerable Coke bottles would still go uncollected and end up in landfill.
In the War on Plastic, is Coca-Cola the Enemy?
Coca-Cola is one of the biggest producers of plastic waste. The drinks giant produces around three million tonnes of plastic packaging a year – that’s about 200,000 bottles every minute!
In 2018, Coca-Cola was found to be the most polluting brand in a global audit of plastic waste by the charity Break Free from Plastic.
Although the company’s decision to continue producing single-use plastic seems counterproductive in the war on plastic, Perez insists that the firm recognises the need to be part of the solution.
As such, Coke has pledged to use at least 50% recycled material in its packaging by 2030 and is partnering with Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) around the world to improve recycling collections.
To ditch plastic outright could alienate customers and hit sales says Perez, expressing the need to accommodate their consumers. She also claims that using only aluminium and glass packaging could increase the firm’s carbon footprint.
Perez claims to respect environmental activists that are making a stand in areas where it is needed and agrees with calls for Coca-Cola to reach its environmental targets sooner than 2030 but has not commented on the consequences of not meeting their goals.
The War Wages On
Despite Coca-Cola’s decision to continue to produce plastic, it seems that they are willing to, at least, attempt to recover the plastic they produce. However, we can’t help but feel that one of the biggest companies in the world should do more.
On the positive side of things, there are still plenty of companies and organisations that are taking plastic consumption seriously. There are now hundreds of companies that are reducing the amount of plastic they produce, introducing strict recycling policies and pioneering new methods of production and recycling.
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