As part of a global week of action, Greenpeace Canada activists visited Coca-Cola’s Canadian headquarters to urge Coke’s leadership to give some good will to marine life this holiday season and stop choking our oceans with its throwaway plastic products.

Outside Coke’s office on King St. E, activists held a large banner with a picture of a seabird with a bottle cap in its mouth that read: Stop Choking Our Oceans, while volunteers handed out flyers exposing Coke’s contribution to the global plastic pollution crisis. Another Greenpeacer delivered a large holiday card, containing Coke bottle caps and labels that had washed up on a beach, to Coke staff. The card read:

        This holiday season …….

        …..Greenpeace is asking Coca-Cola to show some goodwill to ocean life.  Help curb the          plastic pollution crisis by ditching throwaway plastic and embracing reusable                          packaging and new ways of delivering your products. Millions of people have learned              about Coke’s plastic problem and will be watching to see if the company makes some                bold New Year’s resolutions.

                                     Best fishes, Greenpeace

The holidays are usually Coke’s favourite time to shine. More money than one could imagine is pumped into their holiday marketing efforts that feature festive ads including TV commercials with taste-bud-activating theme music and a touring “Christmas Truck”. Polar bears drinking Coke while gazing at the moon, a plump, rosy-cheeked santa delivering pop to the masses, and families sharing holiday moments while clinking classic glass bottles of Coke, are just some of the recognizable Coke holiday themes.

This year we threw a wrench in Coke’s regularly scheduled holiday programming and launched a spoof of Coke’s iconic TV ad. The parody, that exposes the ocean-polluting truth behind the company’s sparkly PR facade, has now been watched over 3 million times around the world. If you haven’t seen it yet, check it out below and share widely!

If you just took the minute or so to watch the film, about one million plastic bottles were purchased during that short time. Sadly, from store shelf to consumption to disposal isn’t as clear cut as one might think and oodles of these bottles end up in landfills and the environment. Plastic bottles, labels and caps are routinely commonly found items in beach cleanups worldwide. Images of bottles on the seafloor polluting benthic habitats have emerged from all corners of our oceans, while many of us have seen the result of the caps floating at the surface posing as food for marine life -  the iconic image of the dead seabirds with caps in their stomachs. We have seen Coke bottles, caps and labels in waterways, in our oceans and on beaches around the world as a result of the company’s mass production of these single-use products that tallies about 110 billion bottles a year.

In Canada, Coke has been a barrier to keeping more of its products out of the environment by opposing deposit return schemes, a little known fact that doesn’t quite fit its sustainability PR spin. So we’ve decided to take our spoof advert to the streets, running a shortened version of the video on outdoor screens in Toronto and Montreal for the month of December.

From social media to the streets, in numerous countries around the world, we have been calling on Coke to cut its plastic addiction. Earlier this week Greenpeace China delivered a light painting at the Beijing Coke bottling plant and Greenpeace UK hosted a spoof pop-up Coke Christmas event at Piccadilly Circus outside Coke’s largest billboard in London complete with Coke’s favourite holiday character- the polar bear. As momentum builds around the globe, we won’t be stopping there.

Over 400,000 people have called on Coca-Cola’s global CEO James Quincey to commit to embracing reusable packaging and invest in alternative ways to deliver its products that are more environmentally and socially responsible.

 

Take action and add your voice, now!