SodaStream: “F*CK PLASTIC BOTTLES”

Amsterdam, September 26 – SodaStream is offering an alternative to plastic drinking bottles. The SodaStream machine turns tap water into sparkling water. You won’t need to carry around plastic bottles anymore – in fact, you won’t even need plastic bottles at all. The company is market leader in the creation of sparkling water, and is active in at least 46 countries. It’s known for its ad campaign, in which traditional beverage companies felt attacked on their contribution to the plastic soup, sending the message that disposable plastic bottles damage the environment. The clip Shame or Glory, which uses people from the Game of Thrones TV-series, is a good example. The company, which also produces T-shirts that feature the text F*ck Plastic Bottles, was recently bought by PepsiCo for 3.2 billion dollars.

It’s not surprising, then, that the International Bottled Water Association (IBWA) demanded in late 2016 that SodaStream end their campaign. Their demand was dismissed as unfounded.

The Royal Belgian Industry Association for Waters And Soft Drinks (VIWF) also sued, specifically against SodaStream Benelux, but their complaints were also dismissed as unfounded.

In late 2017, several VIWF members then sued SodaStream Benelux. Coca-Cola, Nestlé Waters, Spadel, Danone, and Roxane Nord demanded a periodic penalty payment of 50,000 euros a day as long as the campaign was still available. The campaign, they said, was humiliating for consumers of plastic. The Brussels appellate court refuted the multinationals’ claims, and motivated that SodaStream’s message “concerns essential and socially relevant information”.

Now SodaStream has once again won its case, the company is considering to file a 10 million euro damages claim against the claimants in the near future. SodaStream Benelux’ General Manager, Johan Schepers, declared: “We intend to gift the money to the Plastic Soup Foundation, if SodaStream’s claim is confirmed by the court.”

Maria Westerbos, director of the Plastic Soup Foundation: “We’re pleasantly surprised by the announcement from SodaStream Benelux to donate the money to us in case the announced claim is confirmed by the court. In turn, we’d donate five million euros to projects all over the world that, like us, fight against plastic soup. We’ll use the other half for scientific research, its dissemination, and education. With this much money, the Plastic Soup Foundation will be able to fight the fight against plastic soup much more effectively.”