Environment groups found big brands to be the main distributors of plastic waste

September 27, 2019 - 7:13 PM
Plastic bottle
A used plastic bottle of water. (Wikimedia Commons/File photo)

An environment organization shared that majority of the waste it found during a coastal cleanup in Aurora came from a brand of a popular beverage drink.

This was part of the International Coastal Cleanup Day initiated by an international organization called Ocean Conservancy.

The Ocean Care Movement-Baler posted a pie chart of the top nine brands it found during the cleaning operation in Sabang Beach in Baler, Aurora last September 21.

Based on the group’s graphic, half of the plastic waste found was from the Coca-Cola. The second largest contributor was Universal Robina Corporation with 13% of plastic waste from their products.

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The rest were products of the following brands:

  1. Rebisco
  2. Oishi
  3. Nature’s Spring Water
  4. JBC Food Corporation
  5. Monde Nissin
  6. Nestle
  7. P&G

“Not gonna lie—doing a brand audit is grueling, frustrating, and heartbreaking. But, it needs to be done for change to happen. If we want a healthy ocean and community, let us demand these corporations to be more responsible with their packaging,” the group said on Facebook.

Another environment agency, Plastic Free Bohol, shared similar data from its own brand audit or cleanup activity it conducted on September 25.

Coca-Cola was also the top polluter with 30.9% of plastic waste, followed by Philippine Spring Water Inc. with 21.4% of plastic waste. The PSWI produces the popular Nature’s Spring bottled water found in convenient stores.

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“Brand audits are our way of gathering evidence to hold corporations accountable for plastic that is not manageable or that may be recyclable but is ending up where it shouldn’t be. If we only clean plastic up, it will keep coming back. The only way to combat plastic pollution is to stop it at its source,” the group said.

While none of the companies responded on such results, two of them participated in the global coastal cleaning event and shared photos of their activities on their Facebook pages.

Coca-Cola shared that it has been supporting the International Coastal Cleanup or ICC as Ocean Conservancy’s partner for 24 years.

“Coca-Cola has supported the International Coastal Cleanup and Ocean Conservancy through educational outreach, community engagement, research, industry collaborations, marketing and more since 1995,” the company said.

Nature’s Spring Foundation also posted that at least 1,000 volunteers participated in cleaning operations in the coastal municipalities of Argao, Oslob, Malabuyoc, Tabogon and Tuburan.

“We are grateful for all the organizations that volunteered and partnered with us! All consolidated trash data reports will be sent to the International Coastal Cleanup Philippines team and Ocean Conservancy,” it said.

The need to clean the world’s coastlines

According to Ocean Conservancy, the campaign to clear up the coastal line in different parts of the world started more than 30 years ago in Texas.

It soon grew from volunteers across the United States to groups and agencies across more than 100 countries in the world.

“Thanks to volunteers around the world, the International Coastal Cleanup has become a beacon of hope, leading and inspiring action in support of our ocean. Over the years, this movement has created a family that spans oceans and country borders. A network that works together for something bigger than us. To our global network, we thank you,” Ocean Conservancy said.

The Philippines was ranked as the third largest producer of plastic pollution in the world, according to a 2015 report from Ocean Conservancy and McKinsey Center for Business and Environment.

Since then, the Department of Natural Resources and Environment, along with other public and private agencies, had been encouraging the public to join plastic-free initiatives and cleanup drives in localities every now and then.

For this year’s ICC, cleanup operations were conducted in different municipalities and waterways in the country.

Those who participated also shared photos of their participation on social media.

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