Coca-Cola, It’s Time To Get Rid Of Plastic Bottles

Photo by John Cameron on Unsplash

It’s no secret that we’ve had a sort of environmental awakening in recent years.

Sites like TikTok and Instagram have been flooded with “green” hacks and simple things people can do to lessen their carbon footprint, companies are encouraging reuse and recycling through advertising and changes to packaging, and activists have been pushing for governments to put in place bans and taxes to encourage, if not force, more eco-friendly practices in our day to day.

But what happens when one of the biggest companies in the world refuses to make a switch to a more sustainable option?

Every day you go outside, you’re most likely going to come across some sort of litter. Furthermore, when you do, it’s even more likely that that litter is packaging from some sort of food or drink. Like an empty bottle of Coke.

Coke bottles littered around are a common sight, especially if you live in the city, and it makes sense when you think about it. Coca-Cola manufactures around 108 BILLION bottles a year!

Just think about all of that plastic. It’s on our sidewalks, in our oceans, in our landfills, in bird’s nests, inside of fish, it’s everywhere. It’s estimated that by 2050 there’ll be more plastic in the oceans than fish, and just a single plastic bottle takes 450 years to fully break down.

So why not recycle? Well, virgin plastic (which here refers to newly-manufactured plastic pellets) is much cheaper to keep buying over and over again than simply recycling, along with the fact that plastic degrades beyond being worth using in just one or two recycles, so companies are generally resistant to using recycled plastic themselves.
And just because you put an empty bottle in the recycling bin doesn’t mean it’ll actually be recycled, either. Oftentimes it just ends up in a landfill, because in our capitalist society, money comes over the well-being of us and our planet. Not to mention certain types of plastic simply can’t be recycled at all.

So what’s the solution?

You can carry out the entire recycling process at home, but not everyone has the time, space, or resources for that, plus one household wouldn’t counter our current world-wide plastic crisis in the slightest. This also contributes to microplastics no matter how careful you are and doesn’t solve the issue of those unrecyclable plastics.

Now Coca-Cola switching from plastic back to glass bottles? That’d help a lot.

Unlike plastic, glass isn’t made from fossil fuels but sand, which is naturally formed from things like shells, bones, and rocks. Glass also doesn’t degrade over time, so it can be recycled over and over again, which also helps with the microplastics issue.

Glass can be made into a wide range of things just like plastic, and if fragility is the concern, glass can be combined with other substances to strengthen it, which is how you get things like safety glass, a type of glass often used for things like car windshields that’s designed to be less likely to break and less likely to cause injury when broken. Glass can also be made to be more heat-resistant than other types of glass.

And as this Tiktok company proves, once the manufacturer is done with the glass and decides to get some new glass rather than recycling, it can be turned back into sand to start the cycle all over again and help with the global sand shortage.

So what are you waiting for, Coca Cola? Switch back to glass and put the environment over your pockets for once.
And if you are, by chance, not a member of Coca Cola reading this and just a regular person, consider contacting them and pressuring them to go back to glass.

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Sarah Wells

Sarah Wells

25, she/her, writer and professional loudmouth