Coca-Cola needs to stop choking our oceans

European workers including nurses, social workers and teaching assistants protest outside the Houses of Parliament in London before lobbying MPs over their right to remain in the UK.  Picture: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

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Don’t let Coke choke our oceans. That’s the message Greenpeace has for Cola-Cola after revealing the company produces more than 100 billion throwaway plastic bottles every year – that’s an estimated 3,400 bottles per second and a figure which has increased in recent years.

Yesterday Greenpeace UK installed a 2.5-tonne sculpture outside Coca-Cola’s London headquarters to hold the soft drinks giant accountable for ocean plastic pollution.

It features a life-sized family having a beach picnic, surrounded by seagulls vomiting plastic waste.

Greenpeace say that out of the top six soft drinks brands, Coca-Cola was the only one which failed to own up to how much plastic it sells every year for a survey.

It adds that the company refuses to take responsibility for its role in the plastic pollution crisis, and wants to keep its plastic footprint a secret.

The Greenpeace report states Coke got less than halfway towards its 2015 target to get 25% of plastic bottles from recycled or renewable sources.

Our oceans are so precious and the amount of rubbish, including plastic, that ends up in them is truly heartbreaking.

We’ve all seen the pictures and videos of waste-ridden beaches and dead animals who were found with various objects in their stomachs.

The problem is so big and so bad, it feels like we just have to accept that this is the way things are now.

But to me, accepting that is not acceptable and, as Greenpeace say,... ‘with billion-dollar profits and global reach, Coke has the means and the influence to make a big contribution to ending the flow of plastic into the ocean’.

So why doesn’t it?

The company is making and selling this plastic, so it most certainly has a responsibility to do the best it can to stop it ending up in our oceans.