A recently published report by Greenpeace UK reveals that the world’s six largest soft drink companies (Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Suntory, Danone, Dr Pepper and Nestlé) are not taking action to reduce the amount of plastic waste and prevent it from entering the environment.
PET-bottles are the second largest category of plastic packaging worldwide, with 530 billion plastic PET bottles produced in 2014. With an estimated growth of 4.7% per year this figure will have risen to 700 billion by 2020. Even though PET can easily be recycled, only 55% is collected for this purpose, which is why Greenpeace UK has launched a new campaign to force the soft drinks industry to give up single-use plastics.
Large soft drinks companies fiercely continue to resist deposit bottle systems and other methods to collect plastic for reuse. The low oil price makes it cheaper to buy virgin plastic and disregard used plastic. All the companies in the survey added together, except Coca-Cola which refused to disclose its figures to Greenpeace, use only 6.6% recycled plastic worldwide, and while at the same time they urge their customers to be environmentally friendly and recycle plastic.
The production and use of single-use plastics must be drastically reduced to protect the marine environment. For this reason Greenpeace UK is calling on soft drink multinationals to accept responsibility for the plastic pollution they cause and replace disposable plastics with reusable plastics and use more recycled PET in their production.