Sign the petition: Coca-Cola must increase their ambition for a #WorldWithoutWaste!

Sign this petition to call on Coca-Cola to drastically reduce the production and sale of single-use plastic in efforts to end plastic pollution for good!

Already signed: 127
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Coca-Cola must increase their ambition for a #WorldWithoutWaste!

For many African countries, plastic pollution results in environmental devastation along with substantial human rights and child labour violations [1], specifically for those living and working in low-income settlements with no access to or poor waste management services. In attempts to address this crisis, Africa has made several breakthroughs where countries including Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Morocco have imposed plastic bag bans - where most recently Kenya has stepped up their ambition with a ban on all single-use plastic items in protected areas [2]. In fact, Africa is at the forefront [3] of the fight against plastic pollution, and we would like to keep it that way!

A UNEP study [4] justified Africa’s progress by concluding that plastic bag bans have become effective, especially in African countries where waste is often burned. Africa has also shown progress in creating a circular economy with creative solutions to reuse-repurpose-recycle plastics. However, Coca-Cola and other bottle companies like Pepsico and Nestle, are currently major obstacles; blocking, stopping, and clogging every form of progress we make.

According to a 2019 global audit conducted by Break Free From Plastic [5], Coca-Cola has been named the world’s largest polluter of plastics for the second year in a row. Furthermore, Coca-Cola is currently the top source of single-use plastic pollution in Africa. Many towns and cities across Africa have no or inadequate waste management services, and even the countries with plastic bans continue to grapple with a massive plastic waste crisis. Yet, investigations reveal that each year, Coca-Cola dumps approximately 200,000 tonnes of plastic pollution into developing countries [6].

Despite making pledges and commitments to address plastic pollution, evidence shows that Coca-Cola is failing to take meaningful action to address the crisis they are in part causing [7]. Their lack of ambition and commitment is not only responsible for a regression in Africa’s sustainable development, but also aggravating the existing and ongoing socio-economic challenges that we face.

Africa cannot fall behind! Coca-Cola must take immediate action to end plastic pollution and invest in new and sustainable alternatives, while also providing meaningful support to waste pickers and traders who have taken on the burden of cleaning up the company's mess.

In light of this, we are calling on Coca-Cola to drastically reduce the production and sale of single-use plastic, and improve their current commitments for a ‘World Without Waste’ [8]. Together with the findings and recommendations suggested by Tearfund [9], African Climate Reality Project strongly urge that Coca-Cola commits to the following actions in efforts to phase out single-use plastics for good:

1. Report the number of units of single-use plastic products they use and sell in each country by the end of 2020;
2. Make an official commitment to reduce this amount by half, country by country by 2025;
3. Recycle the single-use plastics sold in developing countries; ensuring that by 2022 one plastic bottle is collected for every one sold;
4. Shift from single-use plastic by investing in more environmentally and sustainable product materials, such as refillable or reusable glass containers;
5. Improve transparency in communications and policies regarding undertaking waste related initiatives with NGOs and other organisations to ensure incentives are fair and sustainable;
6. Implement capacity building programmes and SMME development for existing informal waste pickers and plastic traders, and work in partnership with them to create safe and better jobs within our continent.

Add your voice to ours, and be part of the solution in ending the plastic pollution crisis!

Footnotes:
[1] https://theintercept.com/2020/04/19/africa-plastic-waste-kenya-ethiopia/
[2] https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/kenya-bans-single-use-plastics-protected-areas
[3] https://qz.com/africa/1622547/africa-is-leading-the-world-in-plastic-bag-bans/
[4] https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/plastic-bag-bans-can-help-reduce-toxic-fumes
[5] https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/globalbrandauditreport2019/
[6] https://www.bizcommunity.com/Article/196/457/202287.html
[7] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/22/coca-cola-pepsi-falling-short-pledges-over-plastic-tearfund-report
[8] https://www.coca-colacompany.com/faqs/what-is-world-without-waste
[9] https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/mar/31/report-reveals-massive-plastic-pollution-footprint-of-drinks-firms

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