Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Ditch Ties to Plastics Industry Association Following Pressure From Greenpeace: 'A Victory for Every Person That Spoke Up'

Soft drink giants Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have announced they are cutting ties with a trade association representing the plastic industry over concerns their memberships contradict a commitment to reducing waste.

The two companies said they are to leave the Plastics Industry Association as they seek to dramatically reduce single-use plastics in their products and packaging.

The move follows pressure from environmental group Greenpeace, which has urged all companies to reduce their plastic footprint and eventually eliminate single-use plastics.

The Plastics Industry Association has previously lobbied for states to prohibit banning plastic bag usage and imposing restrictions on other plastics across the country.

"Companies understand that they cannot publicly say they want to end plastic pollution, while financially supporting an association that lobbies for our continued reliance on throwaway plastics," Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar said in a statement. "This is a victory for every person that spoke up and asked Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to put their money where their mouths are and tell the Plastics Industry Association to stop preventing plastic reduction efforts."

Both companies confirmed, via the Dow Jones Newswires, their intentions to leave the lobbying group, which represents manufacturers.

"We withdrew earlier this year as a result of positions the organization was taking that were not fully consistent with our commitments and goals," a Coca-Cola spokesperson said.

PepsiCo said they will end their membership at the end of the year and that it does not "participate in the policy advocacy work of the association or its subsidiaries."

Patty Long, interim head of Plastics Industry Association, said she was disappointed the two companies are to leave following a "persistent Greenpeace activist campaign."

"This is unfortunate—consumer brands are integral to making sustainability commitments into realities, by working with their suppliers to make lasting change," Long told Plastics News.

"For example, our members work together to align their efforts to put recycling and sustainability at the forefront of their businesses.

"Once again, we invite Greenpeace to work with us to help implement meaningful and sustainable advances to improve our environment, such as modernizing and expanding recycling infrastructure."

Jan Dell, founder of The Last Beach Cleanup, said it is only right that communities attempt to protect their environment without corporations interfering.

"It is time for companies that claim to care about reducing plastic pollution to take a stand and reject the Plastic Industry Association's lobbying to block local plastic bag and container ordinances," she added.

Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo said they hope that 100 percent of their packaging will be made from recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable materials by 2025.

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Bottles of Coca-Cola are pictured at a branch of Asda in north London, on April 27, 2018. Coca-Cola Co. and PepsiCo are leaving the Plastics Industry Association following pressure from environmental group Greenpeace. Daniel LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP/Getty
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo Ditch Ties to Plastics Industry Association Following Pressure From Greenpeace: 'A Victory for Every Person That Spoke Up' | Business