The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo and Nestlé have been named as the companies with the worst plastic waste records. Environmental campaigners Break Free from Plastic (BFFP) made the announcement following its annual audit of plastic waste.

The research, ‘Demanding Corporate Accountability for Plastic Pollution’, found 346,494 discarded pieces of plastic from 55 countries. The plastic waste was collected from beaches, rivers, parks and communities across the globe. By far, the Coca-Cola branded bottle appeared most frequently.

Mountains of plastic bottles

Coca-cola’s branding was discovered on 13,834 pieces of plastic at 51 of the 55 sites surveyed. This equated to more than the combined total of Nestlé (8,633) and PepsiCo (5,155), which were ranked second and third in the findings.

Almost 350,000 bits of plastic waste was collected by 15,000 volunteers. While 65% was marked with an unidentifiable brand, the results did identify more than 5,000 brands in total.

Further consumer education is needed

All three companies are actively taking steps to reduce the amount of single-use plastic the companies generate.

Plus, 100% of Coca-Cola packaging is 100% recyclable. Coca-Cola has spent years working with recycling and reprocessing systems to ensure all of its drinks packaging is fully recyclable. Everything from the bottle caps to the type of glue it uses to stick on the labels can be recycled.

We’ve also written previously about how Coca-Cola was using new technology to create plastic bottles from ocean waste. Read the article here.

With this in mind, it seems that more education needs to be done by the organisations to its customers. Education on recycling is clearly needed to stop this occurrence happening for the fourth year.