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Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Nestle are significant shareholders of the Food & Beverage industry and have become top plastic polluters. These brands are the most popular brands among the customers due to the taste of their products. But there is another reason behind the popularity of these brands. These popular brands are named the world’s top plastic polluters globally and have been accused of making zero progress in reducing plastic waste.
Coca Cola, PepsiCo. And Nestle have been named as the top plastic polluters in the world. The amount of plastic waste generated by Coca Cola’s company across 51 countries is the highest and 13,834 pieces more than the combined waste collected by PepsiCo and Nestle. This data was found in a survey conducted by 15000 volunteers in several countries after collecting 346,494 pieces of plastic from the environment.
The survey was conducted by Break Free From Plastic (BFFP). It is a global movement launched in 2016 for documenting the plastic waste found in different countries, and in their annual audit, Coca Cola was ranked the world’s no. 1 plastic polluter. Also, Coca Cola announced that Plastic bottles would be abandoned as plastic packaging is popular with the customers. Coca Cola, Pepsico, Nestle and Unilever produced combined pollution of half a million tons in six countries every year, making them the top plastic polluters of the world.
The increasing demand and indiscriminate disposal of waste from plastics and plastic products have increased environmental pollution and have damaging effects on different sectors of society.
As per the reports given by Global Campaign Coordinator for the project Emma Priestland in 2020, the only measure to solve the problem is discontinuing the production of single-use plastic and starting the use of reusable products. In these reports, the top plastic polluters have given statements in this case. Coca-Cola answered that “more than 20% of our portfolio comes in refillable or fountain packaging”. They also said that they are decreasing the amount of plastic in secondary packaging.
Nestle has also stated that 87% of the packaging and 66% of their plastic packaging can be reused or recycled. By 2025, the company aims at making it 100%. Also, they want to reduce the consumption of virgin plastic by one-third.
PepsiCo company stated that they want to decrease “virgin plastic in our beverage business by 35% by 2025”. They also want to expand reuse and refill practices which will prevent 67 billion single-use bottles by 2025.
Toxic Constituents from Plastic waste and plastic products released by the companies can poison animals and marine mammals. This is due to the disposal of plastic wastes into the oceans, rivers, and land disposal in open areas. Poisoning of the animals can adversely affect the food supplies for human consumption. Plastic can affect the animals in two harmful ways: ingestion and the other is entanglement.
Plastics are usually made with potential carcinogens and endocrine disruptors. Ingestion, skin contact or inhalation are the routes of exposure of humans to these products. Plastics is the primary source of contaminants that can disturb the food chain after ingestion by marine lives and freshwater, leading to a high public health risk.
Some institutions’ research on the worldwide production of plastics and environmental pollution has raised a which causes the drastic effect of plastic wastes on marine organisms, humans, and the environment making it a public issue. Now, we need to call for the need to salvage the ecosystem. Plastics are very useful in everyday life, but the toxic effects of plastic cannot be ignored. We must ensure the safety of health and the environment.
These popular brands are named the world’s top plastic polluters globally and have been accused of making zero progress in reducing plastic waste. There is an urgent need for government agencies and health authorities to enforce environmental laws over the top plastic polluters to reduce the use of plastic. These companies should enact and enforce the rules to monitor the production, usage and disposal of plastic waste in the environment. The plastic products that are in direct contact with food, beverages and children should be banned entirely. This is how an innovation became a catastrophic problem for us.
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