Who were the top 5 corporations found to be contributing to branded plastic pollution through the Canada brand audits?

  1. Nestlé
  2. Tim Hortons
  3. PepsiCo.
  4. The Coca-Cola Company
  5. McDonald’s Corporation


The top 5 corporations account for 46%, or 1029 pieces out of a total of 2231 pieces of the identifiable branded trash collected.

Nestlé owns brands such as Nestlé Pure Life (bottled water), Kit Kat, Nestea and Coffee Crisp, contributing mainly to the bottle and wrapper numbers. Tim Hortons cups and lids made up the bulk of the company’s branded trash. PepsiCo. owns Lay’s, Pepsi, Quaker, Ruffles, Doritos and various other brands that contributed to wrappers and bottle numbers. The Coca-Cola Company owns brands such as Coca-Cola, Dasani, Powerade, Minute Maid and other beverage brands that contributed to bottle and bottle cap numbers. McDonald’s Corporation cups and lids made up the bulk of the branded trash associated with this company.  

What were the top 5 brands most commonly found in the brand audits?

  1. Nestlé Pure Life
  2. Tim Hortons
  3. McDonald’s
  4. Starbucks
  5. Coca-Cola

The top 5 brands account for 40%  or 892 pieces out of a total of 2231 pieces of the identifiable branded trash collected.  Four of the 5 corporations make up the top 5 brands.

Why is the brand list different from the corporation list?

Some of the corporation own several brands. Because various products from PepsiCo. and Coca-Cola were found, their cumulative item total was higher than each individual brand.

What were the top 10 branded plastic items most commonly found and how does it compare to the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup top 10 results?

Brand Audit Results       Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup Results

  1. Food wrappers
  2. Plastic bottles
  3. Cups
  4. Bottle caps
  5. Shopping bags
  6. Lids
  7. Straws
  8. Stirrers
  9. Cutlery
  10. Containers
  1. Tiny Plastic or Foam
  2. Cigarette Butts
  3. Plastic beverage Bottles
  4. Food Wrappers
  5. Plastic Bottles Caps
  6. Paper materials
  7. Plastic Bags
  8. Miscellaneous Packaging
  9. Straws & Stirrers
  10. Foam materials/Polystyrene


What were the most commonly found types of plastic?

  1. Multilayered/composite plastic (ML) – packaging of snack or to-go foods such as chocolate bars, chips, granola bars, and coffee/hot drinks.
  2. Polyethylene (PET) – most beverage bottles.
  3. Polypropylene (PP) –  some bottle caps and containers.

What was the most commonly found product type?

  1. Food packaging, 2. Household products, 3. Personal Care.

How many pieces of branded trash were found overall?

Approximately 10,000L of mixed waste were collected; not only only plastics.

A total of 2231 pieces of identifiable branded trash were collected. Additionally, over 700 pieces of branded trash with indistinguishable brands were recovered.

What were other notable findings from the brand audits?

Cigarette butts – which contain plastic – remain a major contributor to plastic pollution, with 7228 cigarette butts recovered in the Vancouver Kitsilano Beach audit alone. In Halifax at Tufts Cove, 381 tampon applicators were collected. Much of the trash collected was branded but the brand was indistinguishable due to degradation. This was especially the case at the Toronto audit in the Don River valley where there was extensive quantities of trash that had been there and buried for long periods of time. Various beach and shoreline locations, such as Kitsilano Beach, are regularly cleaned and therefore larger plastic items may not be as commonly found at these locations.

What are the global results and how do the Canadian results compare?

The top 10 corporations found to be contributing to branded plastic pollution according to the global cumulative results, are:

  1. The Coca-Cola Company 6. Procter & Gamble
  2. PepsiCo. 7. Unilever
  3. Nestlé 8. Perfetti van Melle
  4. Danone 9. Mars Inc.
  5. Mondelez International          10. Colgate-Palmolive

Ten thousand volunteers, participating in 239 cleanup-audits, in 42 countries, on 6 continents collected over 187,000 pieces of branded plastic pollution.

Nestlé, The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo. were found in the top 5 in Canada and globally. Danone, Mondelez International and Mars Inc. were not in the top 5 in Canada but were notable contributors to plastic litter in Canada.

What other well-known corporations were commonly found in the brand audits?

The Hershey Company (Jolly Ranchers, Reese)


Loblaw Companies Ltd.
Danone (Danone, Evian, Naya Water)

Costco Wholesale Corporation (Kirkland)
Metro Inc.
General Mills Inc. (Betty Crocker, Larabar, Nature Valley, Yoplait…)

Mars Inc.

Mondelez International Inc. (Cadbury, Dad’s, Oreo, Ritz, Toblerone…)

Alimentation Couche-Tard (Circle K, Couche Tard, Mac’s)