A new report says beverage companies like Coca-Cola must be “held accountable for the supply chain impacts of their plastics.”
In 1973, a DuPont engineer named Nathaniel Wyeth patented the PET plastic bottle — an innovative and durable alternative to glass. Since then, production has skyrocketed to more than half a trillion bottles per year, driven by beverage companies like Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé.
It’s no secret that most of these PET bottles, named for the polyethylene terephthalate plastic they’re made of, are never recycled. Many end up on beaches or in waterways, where they degrade into unsightly plastic shards and fragments that threaten marine life. But blighted beaches are only the tip of the iceberg. According to a new report co-published by the nonprofit Defend Our Health and Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Beyond Petrochemicals campaign, PET plastic bottles cause hazardous chemical pollution at every stage of their life cycle.
“Plastics have a terrible health burden on the population,” said Mike Belliveau, Defend Our Health’s executive director. He urged the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, to place more stringent limits on the use of toxic chemicals, and called on beverage companies like Coca-Cola — named the number one plastic polluter for five years running by the Break Free From Plastic coalition — to replace at least half of their plastic bottles with reusable and refillable container systems by 2030.
“The beverage industry has to be responsible and held accountable for the supply chain impacts of their plastics,” Belliveau said…