Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Heineken International: most littered brands in the UK revealed

litter coke can

Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and Heineken International branded-products encompassed 23% of all branded litter this year, according to Planet Patrol’s third annual report.

The latest report by Planet Patrol states Coca-Cola Company, Pepsico and Heineken International as the most littered brands in the UK this year.

Packaging from the drinks industry is the largest polluter for the second year running, according to the report, encompassing over a third of litter found in 2020 and 2021 with items including drinks cans, plastic and glass bottles, metal drinks cans, single-use cups and lids.

Planet Patrol has made several recommendations to the Government as part of the report, including the implementation of a deposit return scheme (DRS).

According to the report, 51% of branded litter can be traced back to 10 brands:

  1. Coca-Cola
  2. McDonald’s
  3. Cadbury
  4. Red Bull
  5. Walkers
  6. Lucozade
  7. Stella Artois
  8. Tesco
  9. Budweiser
  10. Strongbow

Planet Patrol Founder, Lizzie Carr MBE, said: “We are part of a fundamentally flawed system that continues to allow brands to pollute without consequence or accountability, whilst our environment pays the price. Litter is the symptom of a deeper-rooted, system problem – not the cause.

“I believe that the transition to a fully circular future is both essential and possible. If the UK government is sincere in its ambition to be a world leader in tackling pollution, then closed-loop solutions like the Deposit Return Scheme and Extended Producer Responsibility reform must be implemented as a priority.”

According to the report, plastic litter has declined to 51% of litter logged by Planet Patrol down from 67% in 2019. However, the report says this has had “unintended consequences” as metal litter has risen from 8% in 2019 to 15.5% in 2021, while there has been a 21-fold increase in paper and cardboard waste from 0.33% in 2019 to 7% in 2021.

The report says that this increase in other materials being littered shows tackling litter requires an approach focused on more than eliminating plastics.

Planet Patrol’s Litter Report is an analysis of litter found across the UK by Planet Patrol’s team of 1,291 citizen scientists who are “advocating to preserve and restore nature by addressing the pressing threats of pollution”. Planet Patrol has previously published Litter Reports in 2019 and 2020.

Planet Patrol is an environmental non-profit that has an app that allows people to log the litter they see which is then “analysed and interpreted to drive change”.

According to Planet Patrol, 85,326 pieces of litter were recorded by more than 5,400 Planet Patrol app users in 2021.

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