Amsterdam, 10 October 2018 – Worldwide research into the origin of plastic waste has identified Coca-Cola as the worst plastic polluter. More details on the research, based on the 239 cleanups that took place in 42 countries this year, can be found in the report Branded. In search of the world’s top corporate plastic polluters, compiled by Break Free From Plastic (BFFP). And their press release is available here.
About 10,000 volunteers picked up and identified the brand of over 187,000 pieces of plastic trash. The three most frequently registered brands are Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé. And overall, polystyrene was the most common type of plastic found, followed closely by PET.
This report stresses the need for multinationals to take responsibility for the end stage of their products and not place the responsibility for plastic waste on the shoulders of consumers and (local) authorities. To avert the plastic soup crisis more products should be sold without plastic packaging or the packaging should be reusable.
Despite all their grand talk about the circular economy, multinational companies, producing food, beverages, cosmetics and cleaning products continue to offer their products in single-use plastic packaging. BFFP urges multinationals to drastically reduce their use of single-use plastics and really take their responsibility.
The top polluters in Asia are Western multinationals. These brands are, according to the report, responsible for 30% of the plastic pollution. In 2017, during a cleanup of a beach in Manila (Philippines) 54,260 pieces of plastic were collected and audited. This 2017 brand audit found Nestlé and Unilever to be the largest polluters.
Global Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic, Von Hernandez: “By continuing to churn out problematic and unrecyclable throwaway plastic packaging for their products, these companies are guilty of trashing the planet on a massive scale. It’s time they own up and stop shifting the blame to citizens for their wasteful and polluting products.”
Also read: Unilever largest polluter in the Philippines