Half A Million People Call on Coke to Stop Choking Our Oceans
Yesterday Greenpeace volunteers delivered a global petition to various Coca-Cola head offices around the world, calling on them to stop choking our oceans. At Coca-Cola’s Atlanta headquarters in the US, Greenpeace volunteers dressed as marine wildlife trapped in plastic were joined by actress and director Bonnie Wright, of Harry Potter fame.
In London, volunteers headed to Coca-Cola’s GB office to deliver a large portrait of distressed Coca-Cola bottles found by artist Mandy Barker during a series of beach cleans.
In Israel, volunteers presented a golden message in a bottle to reward Coca-Cola for being a top ocean polluter. There were also petitions delivered to their Canadian and Turkish head offices.
We are targeting Coca-Cola specifically because they are on the world’s largest soft drinks company and produce over 110 billion single use plastic bottles every year. Plastic bottles are one of the most commonly found items on the ocean’s surface and during beach cleans.
They are part of the up to 12 million tonnes of plastic that enter our oceans every year. Once they are in the marine environment, they become a hazard to marine wildlife. They can become entangled in it, or mistake it for food. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 sea turtles have ingested plastic as well as 90% of seabirds.
But it’s not just marine wildlife that are being impacted by ocean plastic pollution. Larger pieces of plastic that enter the ocean break down over time into smaller pieces called microplastics. Microplastics have been found in everything from the seafood that we eat to beer, sea salt, honey and even our tap water.
The petition hand in is timed to influence Coca-Cola’s forthcoming bottle strategy which is expected to be announced later this month. We hope that Coca-Cola see that the tide is turning and declare the end of the age of single use plastic bottles.
About Tisha Brown
I am a campaigner on the oceans team.