An environmental group in California is suing 10 companies – including Coke and Pepsi – for generating plastic pollution and misleading consumers about the recyclability of their products’ packaging.  The plaintiff, Earth Island Institute, argues that such companies should be held accountable for their role in damaging the environment through plastic litter that ends up in the ocean and elsewhere.

The group says a small number of corporations are responsible for the up to 20 million tons of plastic that enters the world’s oceans every year, much of which is single-use.  The suit, filed at San Mateo county superior court in the US state, asks for these companies to be forced to pay for clean-up and restoration activities, and for them to stop claiming on their labels that single-use packaging is recyclable.  The 10 companies named in the suit are Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestlé, Mars, Danone, Mondelēz International, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, household product manufacturer Clorox, and bottled water firm Crystal Geyser.

The main point of the action against them is the assertion that the responsibility for waste management has been wrongly placed on consumers, who have been led to believe that they are protecting the environment by putting, say, a Coke bottle in the recycling bin; but because such packaging in fact is often not actually recycled, and has no commercial value, it is largely either landfilled, incinerated or otherwise dumped in a way – historically via export – that ends up polluting the ocean.

Earth Island Institute says at current rates, plastic will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050, and National Geographic has reported that less than 10% of the material is recycled.  This lawsuit, however, indicates that awareness of the reality of plastic recycling is growing, and momentum is building to go to the source of the problem: the companies selling the stuff.

further reading…

An environmental group in California is suing 10 companies – including Coke and Pepsi – for generating plastic pollution and misleading consumers about the recyclability of their products’ packaging.  The plaintiff, Earth Island Institute, argues that such companies should be held accountable for their role in damaging the environment through plastic litter that ends up in the ocean and elsewhere.

The group says a small number of corporations are responsible for the up to 20 million tons of plastic that enters the world’s oceans every year, much of which is single-use.  The suit, filed at San Mateo county superior court in the US state, asks for these companies to be forced to pay for clean-up and restoration activities, and for them to stop claiming on their labels that single-use packaging is recyclable.  The 10 companies named in the suit are Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Nestlé, Mars, Danone, Mondelēz International, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, household product manufacturer Clorox, and bottled water firm Crystal Geyser.

The main point of the action against them is the assertion that the responsibility for waste management has been wrongly placed on consumers, who have been led to believe that they are protecting the environment by putting, say, a Coke bottle in the recycling bin; but because such packaging in fact is often not actually recycled, and has no commercial value, it is largely either landfilled, incinerated or otherwise dumped in a way – historically via export – that ends up polluting the ocean.

Earth Island Institute says at current rates, plastic will outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050, and National Geographic has reported that less than 10% of the material is recycled.  This lawsuit, however, indicates that awareness of the reality of plastic recycling is growing, and momentum is building to go to the source of the problem: the companies selling the stuff.

further reading…