PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have announced that they are cutting ties with Plastics Industry Association, a lobby group that fights against plastic bans on a national level. Plastics Industry Association represents the plastic industry and has lobbied against initiatives such as states banning plastic bags.
John Jocevar, Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director, said, “This is a victory for every person that spoke up and asked Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to put their money where their mouths are and tell the Plastics Industry Association to stop preventing plastic reduction efforts…Companies understand that they cannot publicly say they want to end plastic pollution, while financially supporting an association that lobbies for our continued reliance on throwaway plastics.”
Both Greenpeace advocacy and public pressure are cited as being reasons for PepsiCo and Coca-Cola’s departure from the anti-plastic bans lobbying. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola are both working to make sure all of their products are not only recyclable, but also to increase how much recycled plastic they are using in creating their current packaging. These two companies are major contributors to plastic bottle use and pollution nationwide.
PepsiCo has made the commitment to only using recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable materials in their packaging by the year 2025. Additionally, the company has vowed to make their new plastic bottles with 25% recycled material. Coca-Cola has similar commitments, including transitioning to creating bottles and cans with 50% recycled materials during the span of the next 11 years. The nonprofit agency World Wildlife Fund has partnered with Coca-Cola, among other companies, to help ensure their sustainability goals are met.
On the departure from the lobby group a spokesperson for Coca-Cola stated, “We withdrew earlier this year as a result of positions the organization was taking that were not fully consistent with our commitments and goals.”
Other major corporations, including Clorox, Becton Dickinson, and Ecolab have also ended partnership with Plastics Industry Association.
What other partnerships could help ensure PepsiCo and Coca-Cola reach their sustainability goals? How can we, as consumers, participate in holding these corporations accountable?