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Coca-Cola is among the largest plastic polluters in the world. It's sponsoring UN COP27 now

Vivek Mishra
Vivek MishraNov 08, 2022 | 11:59

Coca-Cola is among the largest plastic polluters in the world. It's sponsoring UN COP27 now

Coca-Cola is the world's largest plastic producer. (Reuters Photo)

The climate summit is one event where people get to hear a lot about terms like CO2 emission and global warming and that the world leaders and the United Nations are really concerned about it.

The UN climate chief said that the leaders would be held to account for promises they made last year in Glasgow, but how ironic it is that Coca-Cola, a company among the biggest global polluters, is sponsoring the COP27 in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh.

Yeah, you heard it right. This year's UN climate summit is sponsored by Coke.

Why is Coca-Cola the sponsor for COP27? The organisers cited Coca-Cola's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and a key focus on climate when they announced the sponsorship deal in September. Coca-Cola said its participation underscores its ambitious plans to cut its emissions and clean up plastic ocean trash, reported AP.

Activists furious: After Coca-Cola was named the sponsor for the climate change event, green activists worldwide slammed the United Nations and the organisers and called the deal a "greenwash".

  • An online petition calling for Coke to be removed as a sponsor had garnered more than 228,000 signatures, while hundreds of civil society groups signed an open letter demanding polluting companies be banned from being involved in climate talks, reported AP.

Why Coca-Cola sponsoring COP27 is problematic: Coca-Cola is the world's largest plastic producer. The company is one of the biggest polluters on Earth and according to a report in Break Free From Plastic, from 2018 to 2021, Coca-Cola was the largest plastic polluter four years in a row.

Top 10 plastic polluters in 2020. (Photo: Break Free From Plastic)
  • In 2019, the NGO Greenpeace published a report which said that Coca-Cola was producing 2,981,421 tonnes of plastic per year, which was responsible for 14,907,105 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
  • 99% of plastic is made from fossil fuels. This hugely contributes to global warming and 8 million tonnes of plastic end up in our oceans every year, with only 9% of plastic waste getting recycled, reported Greenly.
Top 10 plastic polluters in 2021. (Photo: Break Free From Plastic)

Coca-Cola says it is going green: Earlier this year, after being criticised for plastic pollution, Coca-Cola said it will aim for 25% of its packaging globally to be reusable by 2030.

  • In a statement, Coca-Cola said it shares "the goal of eliminating waste from the ocean" and appreciates "efforts to raise awareness about this challenge."
  • The company said it has ambitious goals, which include helping collect a bottle or can for every one it sells, regardless of maker, by 2030, reported AP.
Coca Cola says it is taking steps to reduce plastic waste and CO2 emmission.

COP27: The UN's climate summits are organised every year so that leaders worldwide can discuss the climate change situation, how it is affecting us, and what can be done to limit global temperature rises.

  • The 27th annual meeting, COP27, opened in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh on Sunday (November 6). Delegates from nearly 200 countries are participating in the summit that will end on November 18.
Last updated: November 08, 2022 | 11:59
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