Coca-Cola Is Being Sued By An Environmental Activist Group. Here's Why

Most of us are probably aware that we should make efforts to be more green. Many environmental groups are working to increase recycling, reduce waste, and promote more sustainable practices, but that may not be enough to convince some big-time corporate offenders to change their environmentally harmful ways. So one activist group has decided to take the fight to the courts instead. Last month, a Bay Area environmental group called the Earth Island Institute filed a suit against the Coca-Cola Company with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia's Civil Division, claiming that Coca-Cola uses "false and deceptive marketing representing itself as a sustainable and environmentally friendly company, despite being one of the largest contributors to plastic pollution in the world."

The suit goes on to say that "plastic pollution is a global problem and threatens human and environmental health on a massive scale," and Coca-Cola is one of the worst offenders. They have singled out the beverage company because they are the world's single largest producer of plastic waste, generating 2.9 million metric tons of plastic each year, according to Eat This Not That.

The Earth Island Institute claims Coca-Cola's 'green' marketing is misleading

The Earth Island Institute claims that Coca-Cola's "greenwashing" deceives customers into believing the company is more sustainable than they really are. While Coca-Cola may use marketing to promote themselves as an environmentally friendly company to consumers, they are reportedly not entirely committed to enacting effective sustainable practices. "Contrary to Coca-Cola's representations, the company remains a major plastic polluter, has made no significant effort to transition to a 'circular economy' or to otherwise operate as a 'sustainable' enterprise, and has a long history of consistently breaking its public promises on sustainability goals," the suit alleges.

Coca-Cola spokesperson Ann Moore said in an email to the San Francisco Chronicle that Coca-Cola acknowledges its "responsibility to help solve the global plastic waste crisis" and has committed to collecting "a bottle or can for every one we produce and recycle it" by 2030. However, Earth Island Institute's general counsel Sumona Majumdar stated, "Recycling is not the answer to our plastic waste problem. This is about Coca-Cola coming clean to consumers and being honest about its plastic use and the reality of plastic waste." The institute believes that until the brand stops using single-use plastic completely, Coca-Cola can never be a truly sustainable company.