In the immortal words of Aqua’s ‘Barbie Girl’: life in plastic, it’s fantastic. But not when it comes to the environment, which is why Greenpeace activists blocked the entrance to Coca-Cola’s London HQ this morning to protest the company’s role in plastic being dumped in the sea.
Members of Greenpeace installed a 2.5-tonne sculpture outside the company’s Wimpole Street office on Monday morning. Depicting a happy family beach scene next to a seagull choking on plastic, the sculpture highlights the impact of the 12.7 million tonnes of plastic that finds its way into the world’s oceans each year – some of which Greenpeace believes Coca-Cola is responsible for.
According to Greenpeace UK senior oceans campaigner Louise Edge, the drinks company currently produces 100 billion single-use plastic drinking bottles a year and, says Greenpeace, that figure is increasing. Edge says: ‘Rather than dramatically reducing its plastic footprint, Coke is actually increasing its use of throwaway plastic bottles, which are polluting our oceans and being ingested by everything from seabirds to turtles.’
After struggling their way into the office, a Coca-Cola spokesperson has said the company is disappointed at Greenpeace’s actions because Coca-Cola recently consulted with Greenpeace to develop a new sustainable-packaging strategy. They said: ‘Coca-Cola is one of the few consumer goods companies whose packaging is 100 percent recyclable.’ Coca-Cola claims it has reduced the amount of packaging it uses in Great Britain by 15 percent since 2007 and continues to increase its use of recyclable plastic worldwide. But according to Greenpeace’s stunt today, that’s not enough.
Itching for some activism of your own? Check out our guide to protest events coming up in London.