Litter bug: 70 per cent of the nation’s litter comes from ‘food on the go’ industry
It is sold in more than 200 countries worldwide and is the biggest-selling soft drink in history.
But not only has Coca-Cola become a byword for American world domination, it is now the most littered brand in the UK, according to figures released today.
A survey of litter dropped across the country found the firm’s bottles and cans accounted for a total of 4.9 per cent of discarded trash.
Empty packets of Walkers Crisps made up for 4.1 per cent of litter whilst 3.4 per cent was McDonald’s packaging.
The figures were compiled after an analysis of 7,796 items of litter picked up by 39 volunteers between September and October last year in mainly rural parts of England, Wales and Scotland.
The study – by anti-litter campaigner Tim Barnes of the campaigning group Litter Heroes – concluded that around 70 per cent of the nation’s litter comes from the ‘food on the go’ industry.
Drinks cans and bottles accounted for 34 per cent of litter, followed by confectionery wrappers at 16 per cent. Fast food packaging made up for 13 per cent whilst 8 per cent of the litter was crisp packets.
‘Clearly, the people who drop litter are directly responsible for the problem, but manufacturers must accept some responsibility too,’ said Mr Barnes.
‘Littering of these brands is degrading the environment on a national scale. The survey shows that almost everywhere you go in the UK you are likely to see a littered Coke can or a Walkers Crisp packet.
It is time these companies took much greater responsibility for preventing littering of their products and for the cost of the clean-up.’
He added: ‘It is clear that food-on-the-go products are highly likely to be littered, yet this survey found anti-litter markings on the worst littered brands are either non-existent or too small to be credible.
‘Prominent anti-litter messages should be mandatory on these products.’
As much as 10 per cent of the litter picked up by the volunteers were empty cigarette packets.
Almost 20 per cent were categorised under miscellaneous and included ‘poop and scoop’ bags, used nappies, condoms, sanitary towels, a pair of handcuffs, a chandelier, an inflatable dinghy and a £5 note.
McDonald’s said that, since 1982, the company had been working hard to reduce the amount of litter in Britain.
‘In 2009 we spent over £2million on staff labour alone, picking up litter from a multitude of brands from High Streets up and down the country,’ it said.
‘Our staff walk almost 3,000 miles a week completing litter patrols several times every day.
‘We are also working in partnership with many local councils and various Tidy (Britain) groups, although we recognise the particular challenges of rural litter, which can be thoughtlessly discarded many miles from our restaurants.’
Fonte – Daily Mail de 24 de fevereiro de 2010