A global audit carried out by Greenpeace and NGO Break Free From Plastic has found that global food and drink giants such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Nestlé are among the world’s largest contributors to plastic waste levels.
The audit was carried out by 10,000 volunteers in 42 countries over a nine-month period, with 187,000 pieces of plastic trash audited, and seven food and drink giants were identified among the top ten worst plastic waste offenders.
Coca-Cola was the worst waste producer according to the audit, with PepsiCo, Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez International coming in second, third, fourth and fifth respectively, with Unilever and Mars Incorporated also making the top ten as the seventh and ninth worst offenders.
Packaging from Coca-Cola alone was found in 40 of the 42 audited countries, and it was the only company to rank in the top three on all six continents.
Polystyrene was the most common type of plastic found by the audit followed by PET, which used in bottles, containers, and other packaging.
Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé brands were the top polluters identified in North and South America, accounting for 64% and 70% of all branded plastic pollution on both continents, respectively.
In Europe, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé brands were again the top identified polluters, accounting for 45% of plastic pollution.
Meanwhile in Australia, 7-Eleven, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s brands were the top polluters identified, accounting for 82% of the plastic pollution found.
Von Hernandez, global co-ordinator of Break Free From Plastic said: “These brand audits offer undeniable proof of the role that corporations play in perpetuating the global plastic pollution crisis.
“By continuing to churn out problematic and unrecyclable throwaway plastic packaging for their products, these companies are guilty of trashing the planet on a massive scale.
“It’s time they own up and stop shifting the blame to citizens for their wasteful and polluting products.”