Report names Coca-Cola world's biggest plastic polluter

A mountain of plastic.
Plastic waste. Photo credit: Getty

Coca-Cola has been named the world's top plastic polluter.

A new report from the group Break Free From Plastic found Coca-Cola led the pack for plastic waste, while Nestlé and PepsiCo followed.

The report was based on 484 clean-ups conducted across 50 countries. Of all the identifiable waste collected 11,732 pieces belonged to Coca-Cola, more than all of the waste from Nestle and PepsiCo put together.

A Coca-Cola spokesperson told the Evening Standard it's not a title the company wants to have.

"Any time our packaging ends up in our oceans - or anywhere that it doesn't belong - is unacceptable to us."  

"In partnership with others, we are working to address this critical global issue, both to help turn off the tap in terms of plastic waste entering our oceans and to help clean up the existing pollution."

But Greenpeace said the soft drink giants efforts are hollow.

"Recent commitments by corporations like Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo to address the crisis, unfortunately, continue to rely on false solutions like replacing plastic with paper or bioplastics and relying more heavily on a broken global recycling system. 

"These strategies largely protect the outdated throwaway business model that caused the plastic pollution crisis, and will do nothing to prevent these brands from being named the top polluters again in the future."

It's the second time Coca-Cola topped the list, after leading the pack in 2018 as well.