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Coca-Cola and plastic waste | DW Documentary



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Plastic bottles are responsible for a quarter of marine pollution. A large proportion of this comes from Coca-Cola. But with its "A World Without Waste" strategy, the company wants to change that. But is this all just greenwashing, or does it represent real change?

Over 500 billion plastic bottles are sold every year, most of which are used only once and then thrown away. Coca-Cola produces the most soft drinks in plastic bottles worldwide. Since 2018, the company has set ambitious goals to prevent Coca-Cola plastic bottles from continuing to pollute the environment on a large scale. This film takes a closer look at Coca-Cola's "A World Without Waste" strategy.

In the 1950s, Coca-Cola's world-famous soft drink was sold exclusively in glass bottles, which the company collected, washed and refilled. But then these returnable bottles were replaced by plastic bottles - a trend that continues today. Now Coca-Cola is promising to reduce its plastic waste by making packaging 100 percent recyclable, selling at least 50 percent of all beverages in reusable packaging and making all bottles using 50 percent recycled plastic. The company also promises to collect and recycle one used bottle for every plastic bottle sold by 2030. However, critics argue that this plan, based solely on recycling, will not solve the problem -- and that refillable bottles are a better solution because they reduce the amount of plastic generated, thereby reducing the burden on waste systems. The Pacific Garbage Patches, accumulations of trash in the Pacific Ocean, some three times the size of France, are growing. Action is urgently needed. Will the world's largest soft drink producer really work to reverse the trend?

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