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The world’s Top-5 polluters are found

Coca Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Mondeléz and Unilever win the award for being the most polluting brands in the world – for the second year in a row

That is the result of a worldwide brand audit from September this year, organized by the international movement Break Free From Plastic. In more than 50 countries from 6 continents there have been 484 brand audits conducted – that is, cleanups that are mapping the brand of every piece of waste found. Up to 72,500 volunteers have been involved in the mapping of waste found in nature, and have identified more than 475,000 pieces of plastic. The result are ‘crowning’ Coca Cola as the top polluting brand in the world, followed by Nestlé, PepsiCo, Mondeléz International, and Unilever. A common denominator for these brands is that they are all international food or beverage conglomerates, and are behind for example the well-known Coca Cola, the KitKat chocolate bar, the Oreo biscuit roll or the Philadelphia cheese to name a few.

In the Brand Audit report, BRANDED Volume II: Identifying the World’s Top Corporate Plastic Polluters, which will be released to Our Ocean 2019 in Norway, where several of these brands are present, this is further evidence that companies need to do more to tackle the plastic pollution crisis they have created. Their continued dependence on disposable plastic packaging means that more plastic is being thrown into the environment. Recycling will not solve this problem.

“These global giants are waste producers and must be held accountable for putting products on the market worldwide in disposable plastic packaging that is of no value and which can only end up as waste, be burnt, end up in open landfills – and at worst as pollution in nature.”, says Strategic Director in Plastic Change, Anne Aittomaki.

“We strongly urge companies to reduce their disposable plastic production as soon as possible and find innovative solutions focused on alternative delivery systems that do not create pollution”, she continues.

In comparison, last year, 239 cleanups were made from around the world, resulting in the same Top 5 polluters. Read the full report on the new BRAND AUDIT 2019 that is just released.

Break Free From Plastic’s nearly 1,800 member organizations. Plastic Change is one of 12 organizations that are on the steering committee of the Break Free From Plastic movement.