Coca-Cola recently released several TV ads, which were strongly criticized in social media. Two of them, in particular, refer to environmental problems: global warming and forest fires in one of them and the problem of waste, in the other. Just a few days before, the company declared in Davos that it won’t stop using single-use plastic bottles, excusing themselves on consumers’ demand. Coca-Cola is the worst plastic polluter at a global level. It is one of the main corporations that scaled up the consumption of single-use plastic bottles and systematically lobbied against any kind of regulation. Coca-Cola must stop greenwashing, take responsibility for the problem it created and abandon single-use packaging.
In one of the ads, there is a TV broadcasting the news about forest fires and the headline “Global Warming” together with young people that, while drinking Coca-Cola in plastic bottles, say “In the world, there are many things to do” and “ It’s time to be awake”. In the other spot, there are young people that, after drinking Coca-Cola, collect waste on a beach, with the statement reading
“A world without waste”. These ads caused an immediate and massive reaction in social media, particularly on Instagram. On one of them, users wrote over 600 comments rejecting it, and more than 100 on the other. Instagram was filled up with comments like these:
A fake message coming from the company that leads the ranking of plastics found in rivers and seas since there are waste audits in riverbeds and
Seriously? Global Warming with plastic bottles in hands? You’re a joke. If you will commit, do it with true actions, not lying ads. Shame!
Wouldn’t it be better if you took responsibility for the disaster you are causing?
It’s better to stop producing single-use plastics. This advertisement is a lack of respect.
You should start avoiding single-use bottles, instead of promoting them, if you really care. More actions, less greenwashing please!
In October 2019, the global movement Break Free From Plastic submitted a report identifying the main corporations polluting ecosystems with plastics. To do that there were 484 cleanups with brand audits in the shores of 51 countries. For second year in a row it was found that Coca-Cola is the most polluting corporation.
In the city of Rosario (Argentina), Taller Ecologista, as part of Más Río Menos Basura (More River Less Waste) a group of organizations and institutions, participated in BFFP Brand Audit collecting waste in the Paraná river shoreline. In this action, just like in others organized by the local group, they always found that Coca-Cola was responsible for the majority of waste polluting the river. For that reason, in November 2019 the local organizations took the bottles collected in the river to the company’s distribution facility in the city of Rosario. They demanded “Stop Using Disposables” and claimed the company to go back to returnable bottles.
Coca-Cola has to change and lead the path to other companies. In the past it led the path to an unsustainable system, scaling up the use of disposable bottles and then creating the problem of which today we are seeing the consequences: millions of tons of plastics in the oceans, in the rivers; microplastics in animals and our bodies and so on. It is unacceptable that Coca-Cola maintains, as it did in Davos, that it will continue using single-use bottles because consumers are demanding them. Everybody knows the big corporations have always been creating the demand for the products they want to sell. We say: Coca-Cola, don’t wash your hands, take responsibility and stop using disposables.
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