Coca-cola has been named the top plastic polluter in a new report by an environmental organization.
Break Free From Plastic's report, BRANDED Volume II: Identifying the World's Top Corporate Plastic Polluters, lists Nestle and PepsiCo in second and third place.
The organization conducted 484 beach cleanups in more than 50 countries in September, collecting a staggering 11,732 pieces of plastic from Coca-Cola products - more than the second, third, and fourth-worst polluters combined.
'Plastic pollution crisis'
"This report provides more evidence that corporations urgently need to do more to address the plastic pollution crisis they've created," Von Hernandez, global coordinator at Break Free From Plastic, said.
"Their continued reliance on single-use plastic packaging translates to pumping more throwaway plastic into the environment. Recycling is not going to solve this problem."
"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," added Abigail Aguilar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia plastic campaign coordinator.
"These strategies largely protect the outdated throwaway business model that caused the plastic pollution crisis, and will do nothing to prevent these brands from being named the top polluters again in the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."
'Unacceptable to us'
A Coca-Cola spokesperson told the Evening Standard: "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."
The spokesperson added that by 2030, it aims to 'recover 100 percent of the cans and bottles we use so that none of our packaging ends up as waste and all of our bottles and cans are recycled and used again."