Coke – Stop Trashing Australia

Greenpeace are taking on Coca Cola and other beverage manufacturers’ efforts to stop cash for containers programs in Australia.

Beverage producers led by Coca Cola Amatil succeeded in efforts to destroy a program in the Northern Territory in March – as I mentioned back then, I couldn’t believe it was successful. The judge ruled the scheme was illegal under Commonwealth law.

We have a cash for containers scheme in South Australia that has fantastic support from the community and our landscape and waterways have benefited as a result.

While our state’s scheme isn’t in danger (as far as I know); it’s this sort of opposition from companies that is preventing a national program finally being implemented.

Greenpeace has created a rather in-your-face sort of video ad it hopes to screen on national TV.

While I like the overall theme, they might have to respond to nay-sayers that point out birds don’t eat plastic bottles. That is true, but as plastic bottles degrade; they break into fragments. It’s those fragments that birds and aquatic creatures consume, which can then clog their digestive tracts; causing starvation. Some parts of our oceans are becoming a plastic soup.

According to GreenPeace, plastic trash affects 65% of Australian marine birds, much of which comes from the beverage industry. Even in comparatively sparsely populated Australia, plastic garbage can be found just about everywhere. I’ve fished in quite remote regions and have pulled up plastic junk.

Greenpeace are asking people to donate money to pay for the running of the ad.

After the Northern Territory decision, Coca Cola Amatil’s Facebook page was bombarded with criticism. The company sought to appease angry Aussies by plowing some cash into the NT Bin Network scheme.

However, that hasn’t silenced the die-hard container deposit fans, who continue to remind Coke and anyone reading any of the Facebook comment threads of what could have been – and Coca Cola Amatil’s role in crushing what is a proven winner for the community and the environment.