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Coca-Cola is being slammed for its massive solution to the 'plastics epidemic' as critics call for a world where its top product is extinct

Kate Taylor
  • Coca-Cola announced on Friday that for every bottle it sells, it will recycle the equivalent number of bottles.
  • Greenpeace slammed Coca-Cola for focusing on recycling, instead of making moves to decrease its use of single-serve plastic bottles.
  • Coca-Cola's CEO said that if Coke can manage to recycle the equivalent of 100% of its packaging, "there's no such thing as a single-use bottle."

Coca-Cola announced a massive recycling effort on Friday.

The beverage giant has committed to collecting and recycling the equivalent of 100% of its bottles, cans, and other packaging by 2030.

"If left unchecked, plastic waste will slowly choke our oceans and waterways," Coca-Cola's CEO and president James Quincey wrote in an op-ed published on the company's website on Friday.

"The world's packaging problem is a symptom of a more serious condition," Quincey writes. "We're using up our earth as if there's another one on the shelf just waiting to be opened."

Walmart coke

Coca-Cola's "World Without Waste" initiative aims to achieve the goal of recycling a bottle for every new Coke bottle sold. The company will invest in promoting understanding of recycling, working with local communities to improve recycling infrastructures as well as other nonprofit and corporate partners.

The company also announced that, by 2030, it aims to make bottles with an average of 50% recycled material.

However, some critics say that the company isn't doing enough.

Greenpeace slammed Coca-Cola for focusing on recycling, instead of making moves to decrease its use of single-serve plastic bottles.

"Instead of focusing on reducing the amount of plastic it produces, the sure fire way to reduce ocean plastic pollution, Coca Cola is trying to offset its huge plastic footprint by investing in a bit more recycling," Louise Edge, Senior Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace UK, said in a statement.

"Its plan is full of band-aids and will do very little in the way of making a meaningful impact on the amount of plastic entering our waterways and food chain," Edge continued. "Coke has a long way to go to show it is taking the plastics epidemic seriously."

Quincey dismissed Greenpeace's criticism in a call with reporters. If all bottles are made to be recyclable and then recycled, there is no need to ditch the traditional plastic bottle all together.

"If we can drive up collection, then we can reuse that and create a circular economy," the CEO said. "I think that's what it's all about - creating this circular economy, and then there's no such thing as a single-use bottle."