Coca-Cola and Pepsi take a stand against the plastics industry

Single-use plastics is one of the biggest problems in our world today, but Coca-Cola and PepsiCo are fighting back by withdrawing from the Plastics Industry Association.

The plastic trade group represents major plastics manufacturers such as Exxon and Shell, oil companies that produce plastics using petroleum, which poisons the environment, kills wildlife and even harms our own personal health.

Plastics are now found polluting even the most remote parts of the globe as most are unrecyclable, which is why they are burying us. Wildlife such as whales and birds eat it and die. And it breaks down into microplastics that can be found in our bodies.

Despite all of this damage, the Plastics Industry Association is still lobbying against bans on plastic bags, which it would not do if it truly cared about the planet. And that’s why the two largest soda companies on Earth have ended their membership.

“We withdrew earlier this year as a result of positions the organization was taking that were not fully consistent with our commitments and goals,” a Coca-Cola spokesperson said.

“We do not participate in the policy advocacy work of the association or its subsidiaries, and our membership will conclude at the end of this year,” a PepsiCo spokesperson added.

According to EcoWatch:

The exit from the Plastics Industry Association follows other companies like Clorox, medical device manufacturer Becton Dickinson, and hygiene and cleaning tech company Ecolab — all of which opposed the trade group’s ethics and ended membership last year.

Both Cola-Cola and PepsiCo have pledged to use only recyclable, reusable or compostable containers and packaging for their products by 2025. They recognize that the winds have shifted against plastics as more people become aware of the harm they cause.

Unfortunately, the head of the Plastics Industry Association tried to portray the group as one that is fighting for change even as it clearly fights to prevent it from happening.

“This is unfortunate—consumer brands are integral to making sustainability commitments into realities, by working with their suppliers to make lasting change,” Long said, according to Newsweek. “For example, our members work together to align their efforts to put recycling and sustainability at the forefront of their businesses.”

Long even pretended to play nice with Greenpeace, the environmental group that has been pushing companies to reject the plastics industry.

“Once again, we invite Greenpeace to work with us to help implement meaningful and sustainable advances to improve our environment, such as modernizing and expanding recycling infrastructure,” Long said.

But that’s a complete lie. The plastics industry is not interested in change. If that were the case, they would stop lobbying against bans that are necessary to force the industry to change. Cola-Cola, Pepsi and other companies understand the need for change.

“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,” Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director John Hoceva said in a statement. “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.”

If the plastics industry really cares about the environment and remaining relevant, they will make products that can truly be recycled, reused or composted so that our world and our health does not suffer for their greed.

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Stephen D. Foster Jr.

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