A recent audit on plastic trash around the world concluded that Coca-Cola was the largest plastic polluter. The audit, conducted by Break Free From Plastic, consisted of 84 cleanup events across 50 countries and six continents. In total, 72,000 volunteers combed through beaches, city streets, waterways and their neighborhoods picking up pieces of plastic. The organization’s volunteers collected a total of over 475,000 pieces of plastic waste around the world. Of the plastic collected, the No. 1 brand was from Coca-Cola, with 11,732 items collected.
As you can see from the figure below, the second was Nestle and the third PepsiCo. The purpose of the cleanup event was twofold, both to help clean up public places of plastic pollution but also to identify which companies are responsible for the majority of plastic pollution in our environment.
While there are ongoing efforts to increase recycling rates, global studies have found that more than a million plastic bottles are bought per minute and 91% of them are not recycled.