Plastic waste: Coca-Cola is the most polluting company in the world for the 4th consecutive year

While the soda giant says it wants to reduce its environmental impact, Coca-Cola remains the most polluting company in the world in terms of plastic waste, for the fourth consecutive year.

With 19,826 plastic waste (bottles or pieces of bottles) collected in 39 different countries, the Coca-Cola brand once again tops the list drawn up by the NGO Break Free from Plastic, ahead of PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble. According to the association’s estimates, recorded in a report published on Monday, in total, over the year 2021, 10% of global plastic waste would come from the Coca-Cola brand. By itself, the American giant has a plastic footprint greater than that of the companies in second and third place in the ranking, namely PepsiCo and Unilever.

For four years, the number of Coca-Cola plastic waste identified by Break Free from Plastic has more than doubled, from 9,216 in 2018 to 11,732 in 2019, then 13,834 in 2020 before reaching 19,826 today. No wonder since the group, in addition to its famous soda sold in red bottles, distributes other drinks such as Fanta or Sprite, also sold all over the world.

Coca-Cola relies on recycling

These figures could however be underestimated, since of the 330,000 waste collected by the NGO, during hundreds of collections around the world, less than 60% could be associated with a brand after analysis.

Break Free from Plastic indicates that the production of all these plastic bottles would represent 14,907,105 tons of CO2 in 2020, according to a report by the NGO Greenpeace published last September, because their manufacture requires the use of petroleum and energy. fossils.

Contacted by the newspaper The world, Coca-Cola admits that “there is still a lot to do” and says, “We remain committed to ensuring that all the materials we use in our packaging are collected and circular, so that none of them are ends up in waste. ” Last February, the American giant announced its intention to offer new fully recycled plastic bottles, in an attempt to best meet the commitments made during the COP21 and the Paris agreement in 2015. The firm also indicates that it is working on ” collecting all the packaging for our products by 2025 ”, and is also carrying out tests of paper bottle prototypes.

But more than recycling plastic packaging, Break Free from Plastic rather advocates the outright abandonment of the material, in favor of reusable and returnable bottles and packaging, such as glass bottles. The NGO indicates that the cost of collecting, sorting and recycling plastic waste in the world amounts to more than 32 billion dollars.

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