A new Greenpeace analysis has found that every year Coca-Cola produces more than 100 billion throwaway plastic bottles, mounting more pressure on the environment.
The popular soft drink company came in for criticism in March 2016 when it failed to reveal how much plastic it produces. Greenpeace then conducted carried out a study to find out the plastic produced by the top six global drinks manufacturing firms.
In the course of the study, the environmental organisation exposed a shocking amount of throwaway plastic bottles used by Coca-Cola.
Greenpeace found that Coca-Cola sold 108 to 128 billion plastic bottles annually in Europe alone.
The research showed a hike of 12 percent in Coca-Cola's single-use plastic bottles from 2008 to 2015, accounting for 60 percent of the company's global packaging.
In 2013, the soft drink company planned to improve its recycling and recovery rates in developing countries by raising it to 75 percent by the year 2020, but according to the 2013–2015 data, the rate actually depleted.
The environmental organisation stated that the rate dropped from 63 percent in 2013, to 61 percent in 2014 and 59 percent in 2015, according to the Independent.
"The rate at which Coca-Cola is pumping out single-use plastic bottles is just breath-taking," said Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK.
"In the absence of full disclosure from Coke, we've calculated that it produces over 100 billion throwaway plastic bottles every year — an eye-popping 3,400 a second — while refusing to take responsibility for its role in the plastic pollution crisis facing our oceans. Our oceans simply can't stomach any more of Coca-Cola's plastic," she said further.
According to Greenpeace, every day 16 million plastic bottles pollute the environment in the UK.
A Coca-Cola Britain spokesperson reacted to the report by Greenpeace UK saying that they were disappointed with the study.
"Coca-Cola is one of the few consumer goods companies whose packaging is 100 percent recyclable. In Great Britain, we have reduced the amount of packaging we use by 15 percent since 2007 and we currently use 25 percent recycled plastic in all of our bottles," a spokesperson for the company said.
"Globally, we continue to increase the use of recycled plastic (rPET) in countries where it is feasible and permitted. We are also actively involved in conversations with policy makers and other experts about what more can be done to reduce litter and improve recycling and recovery rates and are one of the companies who have agreed to join DEFRA's litter strategy working group which will focus on addressing this problem," the spokesperson added.
In March, Coca-Cola UK declared that it was aiding the deposit return scheme (DRS) in Scotland, according to which the company will add a small refundable charge at sale, so that the consumers are persuaded to return the soft drink bottles.