Environmental NGOs express “disappointment” and “concern” over Coca-Cola’s recent advert in joint letter to WRAP

Environmental organisation City to Sea has today sent a joint open letter to WRAP  which is co-signed by 6 other NGO’s including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth to express their collective “disappoint” and “concern” regarding Coca-Cola’s recent ‘Round in Circles’ advertising campaign which attempts to redefine the word single-use.

The advert they claim, will “disrupt consumer understanding of what is meant by ‘single use’ packaging” and “sets a dangerous precedent to the industry and poses a real and immediate threat to progress being made on reducing single-use plastic.”  The advert is currently being considered by the Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) “whether the environmental credentials of the product have been exaggerated”.

The Environmental NGOs are jointly asking WRAP, who are behind the Plastic Pact which includes Coca-Cola and other drinks giants such as Pepsi Co, to respond clarifying how it will both help protect the accepted definition of the term ‘single-use’ as well as holding its members to account on its goal to eliminate single-use packaging in five years. They are also asking how WRAP to share clear guidelines for their members about what constitutes ‘single-use’ to ensure a shared understanding underpins the Plastic Pact that they coordinate.

Steve Hynd, Campaigns Manager at City to Sea commented,

“The first step to tackling a problem is accepting that you have a problem. Coca-Cola produces 200,000 bottles a minute – more than a fifth of the world’s PET bottle output. They have been consistently named as the worst plastic polluter in the world (5). But Coca-Cola seem more interested in bottling up their problems and denying that their bottles are single-use plastic. We are today asking WRAP, to stand with us in making sure Coca-Cola are left with no doubt that they have a big single-use plastic problem but also that we know they have the potential to be part of the solution going forward.”

He continued,

“WRAP is doing important work with the drinks industry and that’s why we have reached out to them now. We are deeply worried that Coca-Cola are undermining WRAP’s work. The most important thing WRAP could do now is to communicate to their members, including other drinks giants like Pepsi Co, in a way that leaves no room for doubt about what constitutes ‘single-use’ so that all members are working of the same definitions.  This way we can try and find a path forward, together, to removing what WRAP rightly identifies as “problematic plastics”.

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