For the New Year, we’re reposting our most provocative video Coke, the Taste of Pollution, which reveals the beverage giant’s well disguised and devastating impact on carbon emissions and plastic pollution, not to mention human health.
Coca Cola delivers its myriad products in 100 billion brand new plastic bottles per year — about 12 bottles for each of the 8 billion people on the planet. Coke sells more plastic each year than any other company and its virgin plastic is made with the fossil fuel natural gas. Given the volume, Coke products generate as much CO2 as two large coal generating plants. These petrochemical plants also spew other toxic pollutants on nearby communities. Once bottled, trillions of gallons of beverage are shipped to retailers with diesel trucks that spew even more carbon and other pollutants.
Coke is the king of global plastic pollution. Studies show that Coca Cola plastic waste is more prevalent in beach and sea water clean ups than any other consumer product company. Faced with this damning reality, Coca Cola has, since the 1970s, been promoting “recycling” as the great solution (though not at its expense). The truth is, used plastic has very little value, and there’s little incentive to collect and reuse it. If Coke was actually serious about its “Vision for a World Without Waste” it would support costly Deposit Refund Systems, refillables and eliminate virgin plastics. Coke can’t and won’t absorb the expense because that would destroy its margins and stock price. Instead, as sales have grown over the years ‘we the people’ suffer Coke's impact on global warming and plastic pollution while the company generates outsize profits and its executives become hundred millionaires. Coke’s well-crafted image as a “sustainable and environmentally friendly company” is now being challenged in a lawsuit that rightfully claims it’s the exact opposite.
There’s a better choice. Mass produced beverages are almost entirely made from fresh water mixed with natural and artificial flavors with some fizz often thrown in (provided by CO2). The fresh water that comes out of the tap in your house can easily be filtered, flavored and fizzed. Frozen, concentrated juices are also really good. The delivery of fresh water to almost all American homes is a super efficient, low emission system that is largely taken for granted. Cut your plastic trash to nothing. For those of you reliant on diet sodas and other drinks,a University of Texas study determined that the sweetening chemistries in these drinks appear to drive weight gain just as much as products “naturally” sweetened with corn syrup. Obesity and diabetes in America and around the planet are also Coke driven disasters. Remember there’s 9 teaspoons of sugar in 12 ounces of Coke.
Corporate beverage executives are paid for revenue and profit growth, not for eliminating pollution and healthcare costs. If the company had to pay for the damage it causes, it would be out of business. However, Coca Cola and the other beverage companies clog our screens with advertising and promotion of their “do good deeds” to drown out the truth quite effectively.