Coca-Cola's plastic waste problem continues to fester
Author: Cameron Saunders
According to a report by ocean conservation group Oceana, Coca-Cola’s 9% increase amounted to 263 metric tonnes, meaning that annual plastic waste went from 2.96 million metric tonnes in 2020 to 2021’s 3.22 million metric tonnes. Oceana’s report also enumerated that Coca-Cola had failed to meet pledges that would see it increase the use of recycled plastics in packaging while decreasing its use of virgin plastics. The report offered solutions to Coca-Cola’s persistent plastic problem. Reusable bottles – an area that the company already pledged to tackle – would be a good place to begin. A single reusable plastic bottle can be used 25 times, thus eliminating 24 one-time-use bottles. A single reusable glass bottle can be used up to 50 times. Were Coca-Cola to increase its use of reusable bottles in its coastal markets, that could mean a 22% reduction in marine plastic bottle pollution. Despite pledges that would promise otherwise, last year saw the Coca-Cola Company increase its use of plastic packaging by 9%. With the news of this growth, the Atlanta-based beverage company comfortably retains its place as the top plastic polluter on the planet.