Coca-Cola produces 3 mn tonnes of plastic packaging

Soft-drinks giant Coca-Cola has revealed for the first time that it produces 3 million tonnes of plastic packaging a year, which is equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute, a report said on Thursday.

The data was provided to campaigner Ellen MacArthur, who is pushing for major companies and governments to do more to tackle plastic pollution, the Guardian reported.

The figures, which the company has refused to disclose in the past, reveal the amount of plastic packaging Coca-Cola produced in 2017.

It did not reveal the scale of its bottle production, but when its packaging footprint is translated into 500 ml PET plastic bottles, it amounts to about 108 billion bottles a year, more than a fifth of the world’s PET bottle output of about 500 billion bottles a year.

Coca-Cola is one of 31 companies, including Mars, Nestle and Danone, that have revealed how much plastic packaging they create as part of a drive for transparency by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Combined, they produce 8 million tonnes of plastic packaging a year.

But 150 other companies, including Pepsi Co, H&M, L’Oreal, Marks & Spencer, Burberry, which have signed up to MacArthur’s global commitment to reduce plastic pollution, are still refusing to publicly disclose figures.

In the report, the Foundation said data published for the first time, alongside what companies say they are doing to tackle plastic pollution, offered a new level of transparency about plastics and efforts to stop plastic waste and pollution.

“The decision by more than 30 companies to publicly disclose their annual plastic packaging volumes in the report is an important step towards greater transparency,” it said.

“We applaud the companies that are publishing this data and encourage all companies that make and use plastics to disclose their plastics footprint,” it added.

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