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In 2019, Coca-cola was labelled as one of the top plastic polluters in the world together with other big companies like Nestle and PepsiCo. The Break Free From Plastic Movement has announced that these companies are ones behind the problem of plastic pollution. According to reports, Coca-cola is one of the companies that is frequently identified in 239 different cleanups and brand audits around 42 countries and six continents.
There were 187,000 plastic trash audited from this initiative and Coca-Cola plastics emerged to be as top polluter in terms of our global oceans and waterways. Furthermore, a second analysis also accused that Coca-cola Recycling was not helping solve the problem. Instead, it becomes the culprit of the problem, itself since recycling does not guarantee that the product will be recycled or will not have adverse effects on human health and in the environment.
Coca-Cola Recycling: What The Company Says
Coca-Cola has long been the target of environmentalists around the world due to the plastic trash created by Coca-Cola plastic bottles. As a response, the company promises to further strengthen their Coca-Cola recycling campaigns. They vow to do this by trying to collect and recycle all of its bottles and cans for the years to come.
According to Coca-Cola, they want to recycle all the plastic and cans they sell by the year 2030 and also hope that bottles will only use 50 percent recycled content, on average. With this idea, Coca-cola wants to spread the campaign of recycling plastics amongst its fellow companies in the industry. But many environmentalists still disagree with this thought.
The Dark Truth of Coca-Cola recycling
Coca-cola recycling, as we know it, is not really the way most environmentalists see it. Even actual data can testify how Coca-cola recycling fails to do its job in making a sustainable business for the company. Based on statistics conducted, only 8% of the plastic bottles produced were recycled and other load of plastics who may have reached the recycling centers might ended up into other use. The company also hires poor Mexican children to work in their recycling factories according to reports.
In the realest sense, Coca-cola recycling plan is an ambitious proposal to recycle all of its produced plastic bottles. The company is still liable for the millions of plastics produced that are not being recycled after, which for many cases, only getting littered around or ending up in landfills. In recent findings, the company has repeatedly refused to release data to Greenpeace about its global plastic usage despite its Coca-cola recycling campaigns.
Sustainable alternatives to Coca-Cola
Aside from Coca-cola recycling, there are other sustainable alternatives which the company could use to have better results and better effects to the environment. One way is sustainable packaging. Lowering the amount of plastic material per bottle could make a difference and could somehow lessen the amount of plastic being produced and being recycled all the time. Coca-cola plans to reduce its packaging by 25 percent in 2020.
Another sustainable alternative is to produce recycled aluminum cans instead of plastics. Recycling plastic bottles and making them into recycled aluminum cans takes up 95 percent less energy. Lastly, Coca-cola could also make use of recycled plastics made from plants. Packaging from renewable sources which has lower carbon footprint could be a game changer.
Coca-cola is not only the one responsible for this plastic pollution issue. We are all part of the big problem and each and every one of us should do something about it.
We should not be like these companies who contributes more into the problem instead of fighting plastic pollution. We should start using reusable bottles and stop patronizing single-use plastic containers. Let us all be responsible for our planet by being responsible in the little things that we do.