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There’s nothing quite like a cold drink on a hot day. Perhaps you, like me, have reached for a can of Sprite to satisfy your thirst and beat the heat. But perhaps you, like many people, didn’t realize that your can of Sprite is linked to the illegal destruction of native forests in Argentina.
Here’s what you need to know — and what you can do to put a stop to deforestation.
1) Sprite — and its supplier — have a big deforestation problem on their hands.
Sprite buys concentrated lemon juice from La Moraleja S.A., a citrus exporter based in Argentina, which deforested 3,000 hectares of native forest in the north of the country. At the same time, however, Sprite’s parent company Coca Cola publicly declared that sustainability should be at the centre of all its decisions and actions, a responsibility the company claims to take very seriously.
2) Sprite’s forest destruction is completely against the law.
In 2007, Argentina passed a National Forest Law protecting vast swaths of the country’s forests. The area deforested by La Moraleja is in an ecologically important corridor between the Chaco Forest and the Yungas Rainforest, which is protected under the National Forest Law.
So not only is Sprite’s forest destruction irresponsible, it’s also illegal.
3) Sprite knows that this illegal destruction happened — and has done nothing.
Greenpeace has been exposing La Moraleja’s forest destruction since 2013. And when we discovered that La Moraleja is a supplier for Sprite, we met directly with the company to let them know about their supplier’s illegal practices.
Sprite met our calls to protect the forest with silence.
So last year, we ramped up the pressure. Already, more than 300,000 people worldwide have asked Sprite to restore the forest it destroyed and adopt a zero deforestation policy going forward. In November, La Moraleja lost its sustainability certificate from the Rainforest Alliance, one of the world’s leading environmental certifiers.
4) Sprite’s supplier only wants to restore half of what it destroyed.
Despite pressure from people like you and the loss of its environmental certification, La Moraleja has still only committed to restoring 1,400 hectares of forest. That’s less than half of the 3,000 hectares it deforested (because we’re sure Sprite wouldn’t mind if you decided to only pay half-price for its product).
A commitment to restore anything less than the full 3,000 hectares is not enough. We can’t rest until Sprite and its supplier have restored everything they destroyed.
5) Sprite still has a chance to do the right thing for forests, people, and the planet.
Up until now, Sprite has put its profits before the future of our planet. Not only are the forests it destroyed critical for the wildlife that live there, but forests are one of the best defences we have against climate change. It’s the young people that Sprite markets its product to who will have to pay the price if we don’t protect our planet’s forests.
Still, it’s not too late for Sprite to turn things around and become the sustainability leader it claims to be.
If Sprite truly cares about our planet, it can show it by restoring the forest La Moraleja destroyed and adopting a zero deforestation policy. That’s the only way to guarantee that its suppliers and production system do not contribute to deforestation anywhere in the world.
People like you have already won a commitment to restore half of the forests Sprite and its supplier destroyed — now let’s finish the job! Sign here to demand Sprite restore the forest and adopt a zero deforestation policy.