Special Report

20 Corporations Behind the Most Ocean Pollution

Plastic Products Corporations

Source: Matt Cardy / Getty Images

Coca-Cola Company

The Atlanta-based beverage behemoth is the top producer of plastic rubbish making its way into the world oceans, wreaking havoc on wildlife and sending plastic particles into the food chain, according to a global sampling last year of trash Greenpeace and Break Free From Plastic collected in 42 countries around the world. The world’s leading beverage bottler, which markets hundreds of brands of carbonated beverages, water, and juices, said last year it uses 3 million tons of plastic packaging annually.

Source: Aschenputtel von Aschenputtel / Wikimedia Commons

PepsiCo

A global sample of garbage collected on ocean shores and waters last year by Greenpeace and Break Free From Plastic organizations found that the North Carolina-based snack and beverage giant was second to Coca-Cola as the leading source of plastic garbage in the world’s oceans. Plastic packaging can take hundreds of years to decompose, and in the oceans it breaks down into tiny pieces that enter the food chain and kill wildlife that consumes it.

Source: Kate Ter Haar / Flickr

Nestlé

The Swiss multinational food and beverage company, whose brands include Gerber baby food, Perrier water, and KitKat chocolate among others, is the third largest source of plastic trash found in the oceans, according to a global sample of garbage collected on ocean shores last year by Greenpeace and Break Free From Plastic organizations. The company disclosed this year that it uses 1.7 million tons of plastic annually to produce its plastic packaging.

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Danone

The French multinational food and beverage company, whose brands include Activia and Evian, is the fourth largest source of plastic garbage in the world’s oceans. Danone disclosed last year that it uses about 750,000 tons of plastic annually to package its products. Plastic is the most common trash found in the oceans and it wreaks havoc on marine ecosystems.

Source: Mike Mitchell / Wikimedia Commons

Mondelez International

A global sample of ocean garbage collected last year found that the Illinois-based confectionary, food, and beverage company is the fifth most common source of plastic marine trash. Unlike other major plastic garbage producers on this list, the maker of Oreo cookies and Cadbury chocolate did not participate in recent U.N. program urging packaging producers to disclose the amount of plastic they use and to commit to more environmentally friendly practices in the future.