Coca-Cola listed as top ocean plastic polluter in global audit report

Break Free From Plastic, a global movement campaigning against the rise in plastic pollution has released a report naming Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé as the most frequent companies identified in 239 clean ups and brand audits spanning 42 countries and 6 continents.

Described as the most comprehensive snapshot of the worst plastic polluting companies around the world, over 187,000 pieces of plastic debris were audited, identifying thousands of brands whose packaging relies on the single-use plastics that pollute the ocean, threatening many marine creatures including whales and dolphins.

Polluted beach
Polluted beach

Coca-Cola was the top polluter in the global audit, with Coke-branded plastic pollution found in 40 of the 42 participating countries. “These brand audits offer undeniable proof of the role that corporations play in perpetuating the global plastic pollution crisis,” said Global Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic, Von Hernandez.

The audits found that (in order) Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez International, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Perfetti van Melle, Mars Incorporated, and Colgate-Palmolive were the most frequent multinational brands collected in clean ups,

This ranking of multinational companies included only brands that were found in at least ten of the 42 participating countries. Overall, polystyrene, which is not recyclable in most locations, was the most common type of plastic found, followed closely by PET, a material used in bottles, containers, and other packaging.

In North and South America, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé brands were the top polluters identified, accounting for 64 and 70 percent of all the branded plastic pollution, respectively.

In Europe, once again, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé brands were the top identified polluters, accounting for 45 percent of the plastic pollution found in the audits there. Other regions are listed in the report, which can be found here.

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