Coca-Cola says it won't ban plastic bottles because its customers still want to use them

Coca-Cola

Kirill Kukhmar\TASS via Getty Images)

Coca-Cola has no plans to ditch its plastic bottles.

  • A Coca-Cola exec confirmed to the BBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos that it will continue to use single-use plastic bottles because there is a demand for them from customers.
  • "Business won't be in business if we don't accommodate consumers," Coca-Cola's senior vice-president for sustainability and public affairs told the BBC.
  • Coca-Cola's long-term goal is to have all of its packaging made from at least 50% recycled material by 2030.
  • In 2019, it was found to be the world's most polluting brand when it comes to plastic waste, according to a report by Break Free From Plastic.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Coca-Cola has confirmed that it has no plans to stop using single-use plastic bottles.

Speaking with the BBC at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Tuesday, Bea Perez, Coca-Cola's senior vice-president for sustainability and public affairs, said that the company won't ditch these bottles as the consumer still wants to use them.

"Business won't be in business if we don't accommodate consumers," she said. "So as we change our bottling infrastructure, move into recycling and innovate, we also have to show the consumer what the opportunities are. They will change with us."

Coca-Cola's long-term goal is to have all of its packaging made from at least 50% recycled material by 2030 and to collect or recycle a bottle or can for each one it sells in that timeframe.

"Regardless of where it comes from, we want every package to have more than one life," the company's CEO James Quincey previously said in a statement to the press discussing its sustainability mission.

But it still has a long way to go. According to a 2019 report cited by the BBC, it was found to be the world's most polluting brand when it comes to plastic waste. The report was put together by Break Free From Plastic.

Therefore, activists are calling for it to ditch plastics entirely rather than just commit to recycling them.

"Recent commitments by corporations like Coca-Cola, Nestlé, and PepsiCo to address the crisis unfortunately continue to rely on false solutions like replacing plastic with paper or bioplastics and relying more heavily on a broken global recycling system," Abigail Aguilar, Greenpeace Southeast Asia plastic campaign coordinator, said in a press release in October last year, announcing Break Free From Plastic's report.

She continued: "These strategies largely protect the outdated throwaway business model that caused the plastic pollution crisis, and will do nothing to prevent these brands from being named the top polluters again in the future."

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