As part of world cleanup day on September 21st 2019, Break Free From Plastic brought together 72,541 volunteers to take part in community clean-ups and find out which brands appeared most frequently in the waste they collected. Participants took plastic waste from their designated site, counted the number of pieces and used the study’s data card to identify what exactly it was made from and who had made it.
The origins of the waste weren’t always clear but 43% of the pieces collected were unmistakably identifiable as being produced by a specific consumer brand. The organization hopes that this data will help shift the narrative of the “top 5 marine plastic polluters” away from countries like Indonesia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka and toward the big corporations in Europe and the United States that create the plastic waste.
Here is the list of the top ten brands identified by the survey which collected 476,423 individual pieces of plastic waste. The ranking was determined using both the number of plastics collected but also how widespread each companies waste problem was.
1. Coca Cola:
Pieces of plastic collected: 11,732 in 37 countries
Pieces of plastic collected: 4, 846 in 31 countries
Pieces of plastic collected: 3,362 in 28 countries
4. Mondelez International
Pieces of plastic collected: 1,083 in 23 countries
Pieces of plastic collected: 3,328 in 21 countries
Pieces of plastic collected: 543 in 20 countries
7. Procter & Gamble:
Pieces of plastic collected: 1,160 in 18 countries
8. Colgate – Palmolive
Pieces of plastic collected: 642 in 18 countries
9. Philip Morris International
Pieces of plastic collected: 2,239 in 17 countries
10. Perfetti van Melle
Pieces of plastic collected: 1,090 in 17 countries