A global audit last year showed Coca-Cola as the world's top plastic polluter, with Nestle and PepsiCo close behind
Coca-Cola, the world's biggest plastic polluter, has refused to scrap the use of single-use plastic bottles - claiming consumers would still want the bottles despite environmental hazards.
The soft drink giant said scrapping the bottles would alienate customers and put a negative impact on sales.
This refusal to scrap single-use plastic bottles sparked fury from environmental campaigners, reports MailOnline.
Sian Sutherland, of A Plastic Planet campaign group, reacted angrily, saying, "Shame on Coca-Cola!"
Sian accused Coca-Cola of refusing to take "responsibility for the 120billion plastic Coke bottles that pollute our planet every year" – in which Coca-Cola is responsible for three million tons of plastic packaging a year. This is equivalent to 200,000 bottles per minute.
"Do they really think the public enjoys seeing beaches and landfills covered in plastic waste, killing marine life and degrading into toxic microplastics that are now in our food?" Sian added.
A Plastic Planet has pledged to recycle as many plastic bottles as it uses by 2030. The vast numbers, however, still end up in landfills.
Bea Perez, Coca-Cola's sustainability officer, said, "Coca-Cola recognized it must be part of the solution but it will not ditch single-use plastic outright," reports BBC. She insisted the move could alienate customers and harm company sales.
"Customers appreciated the lightweight bottles which can be re-sealed," Bea claimed, adding, "Using only aluminum or glass packaging would actually push up the firm's carbon footprint."
Highlighting Coca-Cola's pledge to use at least 50 per cent recycled packaging material by 2030, Bea said the company has promised to work around the world to streamline bottle collection and reduce waste.
A global audit by Break Free From Plastic last year showed Coca-Cola as the world's top plastic polluter, with Nestle and PepsiCo close behind.
Von Hernandez, a member of Break Free From Plastic, said, 'Their continued reliance on single-use plastic packaging translates to pumping more throwaway plastic into the environment. Recycling is not going to solve this problem."