A new report published by the Changing Markets Foundation has shed light on the world’s worst companies for plastic pollution, along with the steps they are taking to obstruct and undermine legislative solutions aimed at tackling an unprecedented plastic waste crisis. Entitled “Talking Trash: The Corporate Playbook of False Solutions”, the report’s findings are based on industry research in over 15 countries across five continents. It is highly critical of voluntary commitments from the planet’s biggest plastic producers which are being used as a delaying and derailing tactic that is distracting governments and consumers with empty promises and false solutions.
For example, it outlines how the industry in the U.S. has successfully shifted the blame for plastic pollution to consumers and authorities while recycling is being promoted as a convenient excuse to produce even more plastic. In Europe, it analyzed how the industry has attempted to weaken and delay the EU Plastics Strategy and the EU SUP Directive. In Asia, the report explored China’s major policy moves which are being undermined by low corporate action while it outlined how people in Japan remain blissfully unaware of how their plastic waste is incinerated or exported. South America was lambasted for brazen industry lobbying while in Africa, Kenya is being suffocated by plastic waste pushed by companies seeking grow their business on the continent.
So who are the world’s worst offenders for plastic packaging production and pollution? The report names Coca-Cola KO as the company with the biggest plastic footprint on the planet with 2.9 million metric tonnes of plastic packaging produced per year. Its biggest competitor, Pepsico PEP , comes second with 2.3 million metric tonnes while Nestlé is the third-worst offender with 1.7 million metric tonnes of plastic packaging produced. Five of the eight companies with the biggest plastic footprint are American with Nestlé (Switzerland), Danone (France) and Unilever (United Kingdom/Netherlands) the exceptions. The report only focused on companies that actually report levels of plastic packaging produced with Mondelēz and Perfetti Van Melle notably absent from that list.
*Click below to enlarge (charted by Statista)