Posted in November 2015, Uncategorized

What do Coca Cola, taxpayers and plastic water bottles have in common?

Good news is coming from San Francisco, the first city in America which bans the sale of plastic water bottles. This step is recognized as a global movement to reduce the huge amount of plastic waste from the billion dollar plastic bottle industry.

We heard the voices of people who said that this step was unnecessary and inadequate. In the city, which was built on the desert land and has long hot summers we simply cannot ban plastic water bottles.  In my opinion, it requires only a little bit of awareness to understand and to adopt a habit of carrying a bottle of water with you.

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However, shocking was the statement of The American Beverage Association, which includes Coca-Cola Co. and Pepsi Co. Their statement was that the ban of plastic bottles was “nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. This is a misguided attempt by city supervisors to decrease waste in a city of avid recycle” (Global Flare, 2015).

My understanding of the statement is very simple. In the city with one of the highest recycling practices in the world, banning plastic water bottles is just creating an unnecessary problem. Seriously, why would you ban plastic bottles, if there is already a well-developed system of recycling? Plastic bottles are not a problem.

Plastic water bottles might not be a problem for these companies, but it is definitely unthinkable profit for plastic bottles industry. We can find them everywhere, but they are especially sold in touristic spots, national parks and sports centres. For these companies, to make a new plastic bottle is a very cheap process with huge profit margins and they don’t have to worry about the cost involved in disposing these bottles because it goes from taxpayers’ pockets.  Therefore, American Beverage Association is obviously not supporting the ban of plastic bottles.

To eliminate the plastic water bottles in one National park, it requires 8 million kilowatt hours of electricity and it produces almost 6000 metric tons of carbon emissions every year. The Plastic industry argues that if we get rid of bottled water, people will start drinking more soda and other soft drinks instead. But if, we offer refilling free water stations people will bring their bottles with them or they will buy a reusable bottle.

True, San Francisco is one of the cities with the highest rate of recycling, on average they recycle between 80-90 % of all waste. So why ban water bottles? Every product – recycled or not has an energy and resource cost. Sadly, we use it only once. Water bottles, new or recycled are manufactured in petrochemical plants that release harmful air. People who live near these plants reported numerous health problem and they believe it is caused by the air pollutants emitting from these plants. What make the use of plastic water bottles even harder to swallow are the chemicals which we are ingesting with every sip in our body.

Lastly but very important is the fact that plastic water bottle industry aims to privatize and sell back that one resource which should never become a commodity – our water.

The case of plastic water bottles should not be about the economy and the profits. It should be about what is right and what is wrong.

Selling water which we all own, extensively expending the energy and resources for one time using bottles, polluting air and taking risk of our own health – we should have seen all these effects long time ago!

The plastic water bottle companies will not stop, they will even try to convince us that what they are doing is good and we should follow them.

San Francisco is going to be the first zero waste city in the world. I believe this is what we should follow.

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Katja Polc

Member of Vatavaran team

 

Author:

Vatavaran is a small organization that has decided that it simply must be hands on about the betterment of the world around us. We’re not sitting here for one issue or the other, but for fighting things that bother us in our everyday lives. Basically - we’re determined to make a difference. At the moment, we're working with Solid Waste Management, Water Conservation, our patented Recycling Scheme (WERMS), and e-waste recycling. Join us - we do hands-on work, we do simple and applicable work. We're not fancy, we're not big, we're not famous. We're just working. If you have an idea that you thing deserves to be applied in our daily lives to make a difference, come work with us. At Vatavaran, you lead your own project. It's autonomous work - your idea, your responsibility. We're just the vessel. Because we're cool like that.

One thought on “What do Coca Cola, taxpayers and plastic water bottles have in common?

  1. Let us break this riddle ! What is the co relation between reduced or no recycling of plastic bottles and coke and pepsi ?

    Coke and Pepsi can easily shift back to reusuable glass bottles but their stand clearly shows they have no intention of doing that .

    I am reminded of the well known hindi saying ‘ chor chor mausery bhai’ .

    Meaning by Raising voice against the ban on plastic bottles reveals two massive industries scratching each other’s back for each other’s benefit.

    One is killing the mother earth by plastics and the other killing humans through their drinks. On surface they do not seem to be related but as happens any one evil inadvertently is related to the other.

    If I was the deciding body I would have banned production of coke & peps etc along with plastic bottles .i

    Iqbal Malik

    Liked by 1 person

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