Coke, Pepsi & Heineken cans make up a quarter of branded litter in UK

Coca-Cola, Pepsi and Heineken cans made up 23% of branded litter found by volunteers during a UK environmental clean-up project.

According to the third annual Planet Patrol report, over half (51%) of identifiable litter can be traced back to just 10 brands, including Coca-Cola, Cadbury’s, Red Bull, Walkers, Lucozade, Stella Artois, Tesco, Budweiser and Strongbow.

The research also stated that the drinks industry is the largest polluter for the second year in a row, being responsible for more than a third of litter found in 2020 and 2020. For a third consecutive year, Coca-Cola produced the most branded litter, accounting for more than one in 10 pieces logged.

These items include cans, plastic and glass bottles, single-use cups and lids.

READ MORE: Coke, Budweiser and Cadbury owners are  the ‘worst for paying suppliers

A total of 85,326 pieces of litter were recorded by more than 5,400 Planet Patrol app users last year.

“Just 10 parent companies were responsible for more than 50% of branded litter in the UK last year, and we’re seeing the same offenders, like Coca-Cola, repeatedly in our data,” Planet Patrol founder Lizzie Carr said.

“We are part of a fundamentally flawed system that continues to allow brands to pollute without consequence or accountability, whilst our environment pays the price. Litter is the symptom of a deeper-rooted, system problem – not the cause.”

She added: “I believe that the transition to a fully circular future is both essential and possible.

“If the UK government is sincere in its ambition to be a world leader in tackling pollution, then closed-loop solutions like the deposit return scheme and extended producer responsibility reform must be implemented as a priority.”

A Heineken UK spokeswoman said: “We continue to make huge strides in reducing plastic and making it easier for people to recycle our products.

“We’ve removed all consumer facing plastic on packaged products and our ‘Green Grip’ eradicates the need for plastic rings on cans, instead providing a totally recyclable and compostable cardboard solution, which to date has removed 235 tonnes of plastic.”

They added: “We are aware of the impact of business on the planet and have committed to reach net-zero carbon emissions across our production by 2030, and across our entire global value chain by 2040.”

A Coca-Cola Great Britain spokesperson concluded: “We’re committed to reducing plastic waste and we don’t want to see any of our packaging end up where it shouldn’t. All of our bottles have been 100% recyclable for many years, and we aim to collect a bottle or can for every one we sell by 2025, as part of our commitment to help create a World Without Waste.”

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