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Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo Named ‘Top Global Polluters’ in New Report

(Credit: Break Free From Plastic)

Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo were named the top three biggest global polluters, according to a new report. The Break Free From Plastic Movement identified the top polluting companies worldwide in its “BRANDED Volume II: Identifying the World’s Top Corporate Plastic Polluters.” The remainder of the companies rounding out the top 10 polluters are Mondel?z International, Unilever, Mars, P&G, Colgate-Palmolive, Phillip Morris, and Perfetti Van Melle.

For the second year in a row, Coca Cola came in as #1 Top Global Polluter. A total of 11,732 branded Coca Cola plastics were recorded in 37 countries across four continents, more than the next three top global polluters combined.

Unfortunately, recycling as the solution just isn’t true, according to the Break Free From Plastic Movement.

The report states that, of the total amount of plastic produced since the 1950’s, only 9% has actually been recycled globally, with the rest being burned, landfilled, or left polluting the environment. While many companies have made commitments to increase the ‘recyclability’ of their products, they are still designing plastic that is either too low quality to recycle or impossible to recycle due to the design, chemical additives or hard-to- separate layers. Even if all plastic packaging were collected to be recycled, in most cases it would only be ‘down-cycled’ to a lower quality product and will not be recycled a second time.

According to the report, this year’s most frequently identified companies in the brand audits — Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo — have offered mostly false solutions to the plastics crisis, underscoring how important it is for voices from beyond the consumer goods sector to demand accountability and call for an end to single-use plastics. The list of top polluters is again filled with some of the world’s most commonly known brands.

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