Its 4.30am and I can’t get my mind off this week’s BBC article with Coca Cola’s Head of Sustainability, Bea Perez.
Amidst emergency climate change conversations at Davos, Perez told the BBC that the drinks giant won’t remove single use plastic bottles since ‘customers still want them’. This right here folks is a perfect example of why consumers - us - need to use our buying power to exert pressure on companies like Coca Cola to make a change.
Let’s put things into perspective.
Coca Cola alone produces three million tonnes of plastic packaging a year; imagine the collective amount of plastic produced by the other manufacturing giants that end up in landfill and our oceans. Now while Coca Cola has said that it pledges to recycle as many bottles as it produces by 2030 there is no guarantee that the majority of these bottles will continue to make their way to the landfill (and let’s face it 2030 is also too far of a goal to even start to make a difference).
Imagine if Coca Cola - named 2019’s worst polluters - is swayed to move away from plastics by consumers, what impact this would have on the environment and the rest of the business community. Frankly, companies like Coca Cola with resources and dollars available to them should be focusing their efforts on research into alternative sustainable materials to plastic and not giving us wishy washy ten year deadlines to increase recycling efforts.
If large multinationals put a fraction of their resources towards research funding we may be able to resolve this plastic problem. However, as seen with Bea Perez and her simple statement, consumer behaviour dictates their business agenda.
If companies won’t make the change by themselves, the buck stops with us. We have voting power. We can exert pressure for change with our buying habits. Our money is our power and we decide who we give it to and which companies we support.
So will you continue to support companies like Coca Cola that shamelessly contribute towards our world’s fast deterioration or will you take a stand with your actions?
It's up to you.