Here's Why Coca-Cola Won't Ditch Plastic Bottles

Soft drink behemoth says it's because of consumer demand
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 22, 2020 11:43 AM CST
'Most Polluting Brand' Won't Give Up Its Plastic Bottles
Bottles of Diet Coke sit on a shelf in a market in Pittsburgh on Aug. 8, 2018.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Coca-Cola apparently believes "the customer is always right"—so much so that the soft drink giant is refusing to stop producing its plastic soda bottles. The company, which the BBC notes was deemed the "most polluting brand" in a global audit of plastic waste last year, churns out more than 3 million tons of plastic packaging a year, which comes out to about 200,000 bottles a minute. But Bea Perez, the company's head of sustainability, says customers like that the plastic bottles are resealable and don't weigh much, and so the company is keeping them.

"Business won't be in business if we don't accommodate consumers," she said during a speech at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. But Coca-Cola is trying to make up for this in other environmentally friendly ways: The New York Daily News reports on the company's goal to make all of its packaging recyclable by 2025, and to ensure new packaging is made of at least 50% recyclable materials in 10 years. "As we change our bottling infrastructure, move into recycling and innovate, we also have to show the consumer what the opportunities are," Perez said. "They will change with us." (Read more Coca-Cola stories.)

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