, - Posted on November 21, 2019

Open letter to the world’s top plastic polluters: it’s time to change

Break Free From Plastic
5 men wearing corporate attire with company logos on their head. From left to right: Mondelez, Nestle, Coca-cola, Pepsico, Unilever

Dear Coca Cola, Nestlé, PepsiCo, Mondelez International, Unilever,

On World Clean Up Day 2019, over 70,000 people went out into their communities to clean up plastic pollution and collect data on the brands they found. After analysing the results of 484 brand audit events in over 50 countries, you have been found to be the top 5 global plastic polluters, most of you for the second year.

Once again, the efforts of thousands of people around the world have shown that your products are those found in the environment in the greatest quantities, in most countries. Despite the urgent need for action, the focus from your companies is currently on false solutions such as shifting to other disposable materials, claiming your products are 100% recyclable, or by
embracing chemical recycling, none of which will solve the crisis we currently face.

The signatories to this letter are calling on you to change how you design and deliver your products, away from your reliance on single-use plastic. We believe that as the top global plastic polluters, it is your responsibility to lead the way in redesigning packaging to be refillable and reusable. It is time to take responsibility for the harm caused by the single-use plastic you are
pushing on society. We ask that you urgently address plastic pollution by working to change your products along the
following lines:

- Reveal: Publicly declare how many units of single-use plastic you produce per year per country.
- Reduce: commit to dramatically reducing the number of single-use plastic products and packaging you make and use with a clearly defined, publicly available action plan working towards measurable results.
- Reinvent: radically rethink how you deliver products to your customers so that you no longer rely on single-use plastic, with a focus on reusable and refillable packaging systems.

The signatories to this letter wish to stress that any commitments that do not meet the above criteria will not be adequate to address the plastic pollution crisis. Only a wholesale shift away from single-use packaging will change your status as the world’s top plastic polluters.

Yours sincerely,

7th Generation Advisors
Aotearoa Plastic Pollution Alliance
Association 3 Hérissons
Beyond Plastics
Bio Vision Africa (BIVA)
Break Free from Plastic
Bundesverband Meeresmüll e.V./German Marine Litter Association
bye bye plastic bags
Californians Against Waste
Center for Biological Diversity
Center for Coalfield Justice
Center for Environmental Solutions
Center for International Environmental Law
Centre for Environmental Justice
Centre for Zero Waste & Development
CESTA Friends of the Earth El Salvador
Citizen consumer and civic Action Group
Eco Canton
Ecowaste Coalition
Environment and Social Development Organization (ESDO)
Za Zemiata
European Environmental Bureau
FracTracker Alliance
GAIA (Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives)
GAIA Africa
Global Initiative for Environment and Reconciliation
Green Africa Youth Organization
Greeners Action
Indonesia Plastic Bag Diet Movement
Inland Ocean Coalition
IRTECO Tanzania
Judith Enck, Founder, Beyond Plastics
Korea Federation for Environmental Movement(KFEM/FoE Korea)
Marine Conservation Society
War on Waste Negros Oriental
Mind the Store campaign
Mother Earth Foundation
New Zealand Product Stewardship Council
Occidental Arts and Ecology Center
Pacific Environment
Pipeline Safety Coalition
Plastic Change
Plastic Free Seas
Plastic Pollution Coalition
Plastic Soup Foundation
Polish Zero Waste Association
Post-Landfill Action Network
Rio Grande International Study Center
San Antonio Bay Estuarine Waterkeeper
Society for Earth
Student Public Interest Research Groups
Taiwan Zero Waste Alliance
Taller Ecologista
Texas Campaign for the Environment
The 5 Gyres Institute
The Center for Oceanic Awareness, Research, and Education (COARE)
The Green Earth
The Last Plastic Straw
The Story of Stuff Project
Toxics-free Corps
Turtle Island Restoration Network
VšĮ Žiedinė ekonomika
War on Waste Negros Oriental
Wen (Women's Environmental Network)
Wild at Heart Legal Defense Association, Taiwan
Youzhu Lin from FON
Zelena akcija / FoE Croatia
ZERO - Association for the Sustainability of the Earth System
Zero Waste Alliance Ukraine
Zero Waste Europe
Zero Waste France
Zero waste Tunisia
Zero Waste Villages
Zero Zbel


-See Branded Vol ii: Identifying the World’s Top Corporate Plastic Polluters for background, methodology, data analysis and locations of brand audits https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/globalbrandauditreport2019/
-See Branded Vol i: In Search of the World’s Top Corporate Plastic Polluters for the 2018 results https://www.breakfreefromplastic.org/globalbrandauditreport2018/
-See report by Greenpeace for more information https://www.greenpeace.org/international/press-release/24580/greenpeace-plastics-false-solutioreport-exposes-how-multinationals-are-pretending-to-solve-the-plastic-crisis/

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