Coca Cola Environmental Issues You Might Want To Learn More About

coca cola environmental issues

The term “greenwashing” applies to a business that promotes itself as environmentally conscious while taking no concrete steps to benefit the world. Coca Cola is sadly one of them. Coca Cola’s pollution problems can be traced back to the early 2000s. These challenges include topics such as water shortages and plastic waste, all of which have become highly critical in recent years.

Coca Cola Environmental Issues – The World’s Largest Plastic Polluter

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In the 1950s, the company switched between the glass and plastic bottles, quickly becoming the world’s biggest plastic polluter. This is a major problem, because much of this waste ends in our oceans, leading to water pollution and harming aquatic life as well. While Coca-Cola states that its plastic bottles are 100% recyclable, they neglect the fact that the bottles are needed to be properly disposed of and don’t take into account the drawbacks of the recycling process. They ignore the fact that being recyclable is one thing but being recycled is quite another. In a survey in 2017, only 9% of the plastic ever produced was recycled.

Coca Cola Plants Create Water Scarcity

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In searching for water for the fuel of its own plants, Coca-Cola is responsible for drying the wells of farmers and the degradation of local farms. In addition, the firm has violated employees’ rights in Colombia, Turkey, Guatemala, and Russia. The Coca Cola company relocated to Kerala, a coastal Indian state, to construct a large bottling facility. Soon after, people started to find a problem with their water supply system. Many farmers had expressed concerns about groundwater depletion caused by the company’s bottle production. The bottling plant ended up causing water scarcity for the locals and it is said that many of the impacted regions are yet to recover. Coca-Cola promises to return as much water as it consumes now. Yet analysis reveals that this is far from the case. The clean image that Coca-Cola desires can be preserved only by its multi-million-dollar advertising campaigns.

Has Coca-Cola Made Any Efforts To Change?

Coca-Cola has changed its marketing practices in recent years. Several campaigns, such as carbon footprint reduction and plastic bottle recycling, are listed on their website. They’ve also worked to improve their water-use quality and replenishment. Coca-Cola, like Pepsi and Nestlé, takes several measures to reduce its exposure to plastic waste. However, even more, needs to be done. So, although the organization discusses eco-friendly initiatives, nothing can change before they stick to plastic-free bottles. They seem to be going in that direction. However, Coca Cola’s Head of Sustainability claimed the contrary at the 2020 World Economic Forum. The organization is reluctant to adopt plastic-free bottles because their clients enjoy their convenience.


Coca-Cola can never be fully sustainable until it experiences substantial growth. The company’s history isn’t admirable, but we might tell they’ve been more conscious about their decisions — at least to a certain extent. Many large corporations have begun to take appropriate action as a result of climate change campaigners and spokespeople all around the world. Coca-Cola will continue to contribute to our world’s plastic waste crisis as long as they use plastic bottles, recycled or not. Coca-Cola, as the world’s biggest contributor to plastic waste, should formulate a solution to remove single-use plastic once and for all. This will not be easy, but it is a long-overdue undertaking.

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