- Coca-Cola refuses to ditch plastic bottles totally as their customers are in favor of them.
- Customers prefer plastic bottles due to their resealability and that they’re lightweight.
- The company still plans to reach its environmental goals by or before the year 2030.
Coca-Cola has confirmed that they will not be getting rid of single-use plastic bottles as their consumers have spoken out in favor of them. Customers like them because they reseal and are lightweight. Known as one of the biggest producers of plastic waste, according to BBC, they still pledge to recycle as many bottles as it uses by 2030.
Environment campaigners are not in favor of this decision and claim that these Coke bottles would still go uncollected and end up in landfill. Coca-Cola produces about three million tonnes of plastic packaging a year. Then by 2019, it was found to be the most polluting brand in a global audit of plastic waste by the charity Break Free from Plastic.
Coca-Cola to keep plastic bottles despite sustainability arguments
Bea Perez, Coca-Cola’s head of sustainability, recently spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos. She did say that sustainability in their products had to be “part of the solution”. “Business won’t be in business if we don’t accommodate consumers,” she explains. “So as we change our bottling infrastructure, move into recycling and innovate, we also have to show the consumer what the opportunities are. They will change with us.”
Coke pledges to use at least 50% recycled material in its packaging by 2030. They are also partnering with NGOs worldwide to help with collection processes. Despite any of this, Perez says they cannot ditch plastic completely due to consumer accommodation. This, in turn, could negatively impact sales if they decide to remove all plastic completely.
Aiming to reach environmental goals before 2030
On the flipside, Perez did say that she respects the idealism of advocates who are trying to remove/ban the use of single-use plastics. Some of these advocates include 19-year-old campaigner Melati Wijsen and her sister Isabel. Together, they convinced the island of Bali to completely ban single-use plastic bags, straws, and styrofoam. These types of products were causing harm to ocean life around Bali.
Perez says that she also aims to reach environmental goals for Coca-Cola sooner than 2030. “We have to reach this goal and we will – there’s no question,” she says.