One of COP27’s biggest sponsors is Coca Cola. Coca Cola has been described as being the ‘world’s top polluter’, due to its incredibly high plastic use. The aim of the COP events is to find ways to combat climate change, and many believe that allowing Coca Cola to be a sponsor goes against this.
Greta Thunberg labelled COP27
as an event for greenwashing.
This sponsorship has led to many environmental activists, including Greta Thunberg, to label COP27 as an event for greenwashing. The soft drink manufacturer throws away nearly 120 billion plastic bottles each year and roughly 99% of those bottles are produced using fossil fuels. If not recycled correctly, these plastic bottles become waste on our landfill sites where it takes hundreds of years to break down and as they do harmful microplastics are leached into are soils and waterways.
According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, research has shown that Coca Cola has actually increased its raw material use since 2021, instead of using recycled plastics. Although it has agreed to the global commitment to cut down its plastic use. Between 2019 and 2021, the use of plastic by Coca Cola actually rose by 8.1%, which was the equivalent of 3.2 million tonnes. The majority of this plastic is most likely to end up being sent to landfill, instead of being recycled.
Climate activists campaigned to remove the drinks giant from the sponsorship, and they reached over 235,000. Unfortunately, Coca Cola remains a major sponsor of COP27.
Hopefully, although COP27 surrounds itself with companies that are accused of greenwashing, there are many positives that come out of the event that can help to fight against the effects of climate change.