Call out Coke

In December we launched our #CallOutCoke campaign to challenge Coca-Cola for their recent advertising campaign claiming their bottles were no longer single-use because they could be recycled. We thought this was a pretty outrageous claim, particularly at a time when we need to be urgently taking action to reduce single-use plastic packaging.

As it turns out, Cola-Cola have no intention of reducing the amount of plastic they use. Defending their on-going escalating use of single-use plastic bottles, Coca-Cola’s Head of Sustainability, Bea Perez said “business won’t be in business if we don’t accommodate consumers.”

Before Christmas, hundreds of supporters joined us by lodging an official complaint with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

The ASA have now responded to say that they are going to investigate some of the environmental claims made by Coca-Cola around the recyclability of their bottles but WILL NOT look into whether they are misusing the term single-use.  The ASA said that they “considered that the term “single-use” would be interpreted as relating to bottles that would normally become landfill, rather than recycled”. They’ve yet to tell us why they think this.

In general, we think that their response is littered with some pretty poor excuses for Coca-Cola’s abuse of term ‘single-use’.  We are currently seeking clarity on what we think are some pretty wild claims about what their decision-making body ‘thinks’.

Don’t keep your inner activist bottled up

We need you to keep this campaign fizzing and make sure Coca-cola knows we don’t want their plastic bottles and they are single-use.

1. Support on social media. Tell Coca-Cola that we don’t want their single-use plastic bottles by posting on social tagging @CocaCola_GB & using the hashtag #CallOutCoke

2. Sign the Plastic Pollution Coalition petition and add your voice to make sure they know consumers don’t share their views.

Ceci n'est pas une boutielle

As we go down the rabbit hole with the ASA we wanted to crack open Coca-Cola’s bottled up surrealism in their attempts to redefine what their plastic packaging is, and what it is not. Like so many of you, their claims that their bottles are not single-use plastic left a bitter taste in our mouths and so we have done a little artwork on their bottles.

And that’s a WRAP

Following the disappointing response from the ASA, we decided to take the issue to Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) who work with governments, businesses and communities to deliver practical solutions to improve resource efficiency and who are behind the Plastics Pact a collaboration of business, NGOs and government that is based on a shared understanding of the word single-use.

Together with 7 other NGO’s, including Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and other members of the Break Free from Plastic Coalition we have written to the CEO of WRAP. To ask him to investigate and respond to Coca Cola’s advertising campaign clarifying how the organisation will both help protect the accepted definition of the term ‘single-use’ as well as holding its members to account on its goal to eliminate single-use packaging in five years.

We are also asking them to set clear guidelines for their members about what constitutes single-use to ensure a shared understanding of this underpins the Plastic Pact that they coordinate. We will wait to see how they respond - watch this space!

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