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Coca-Cola made the plastic disclosure as part of the “New Plastics Economy initiative” of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, which is pushing for more plastic recycling and changes in plastic packaging use.
Coca-Cola is one of 31 companies that agreed to report to the Foundation how much plastic packaging they create as part of a drive — and the Ellen MacArthurFoundation issued a report this week, saying that combined, those 31 companies produce 8m tons of plastic packaging a year.
Coca-Cola’s plastic packaging use was nearly twice that of Nestlé, which was in second place for plastic use, with Danone a distant third. Unlike Coca-Cola, most of the other 150 companies that agreed to reduce their plastic pollution have refused to make their plastic packaging numbers public, which makes it hard to hold them accountable. There are some big companies on the list of those that don’t disclose, including Pepsi Co, Walmart, and L’Oréal.
Why This Matters: To state the obvious, that is a huge amount of plastic. When compared to the challenge that we face in implementing a Green New Deal or cutting carbon emissions, reducing the amount of plastic we produce and use each year just for plastic bottles seems equally daunting. And as successful as the campaign to eliminate plastic straws has been in raising awareness about plastic pollution, straws only account for .03 percent of the 8 million metric tons of plastics estimated to enter the oceans in a given year. We need to reduce and recycle plastic bottles. Hopefully, Coca-Cola’s small grants to these worthy organizations will lead to bigger investments by them and other large corporations so that we can begin to get a handle on our plastic bottle addiction.
The most progressive corporate commitments this week involve nature-based mitigation and pushing sustainability out into their supply chains. Walmart pledged to do some big things, including achieving zero emissions by 2040 without carbon offsets, committing to protect and restore at least 50 million acres of land and one million square miles of ocean by 2030, and promising zero waste in the US, Canada, and Japan by 2025.
Why This Matters: Nature-based solutions have until now been seen as greenwashing. But these new commitments go much farther.
by Natasha Lasky, ODP Contributing Writer A 1000-foot stretch highway in Oroville, CA was recently repaved with recycled plastic and asphalt—the first time a state department has paved a road with 100% recycled materials. This durable recycled material can combat potholes, last two to three times longer than asphalt roads, and reuse about 150,000 single-use […]
Why This Matters: The report is another loudly ringing alarm bell that our current path is unsustainable — and we need to make a huge shift away from “business as usual” across a range of human activities.
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