Non-profit organisation Oceana has called on the Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo to increase their use of reusable packaging and reduce single-use plastic.

It follows a report that showed the companies were the two top polluting brands globally.

The Global Commitment 2023 Progress Report by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation claimed that the two beverage companies increased their plastic usage by hundreds of millions of pounds over the year.

Oceana, which analysed the data, said that Coca-Cola increased its plastic packaging usage by more than 454 million pounds to 3.43 tonnes (t) in 2022, up by more than 6% from the previous year.

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PepsiCo also increased its plastic packaging by 4% or more than 220 million pounds to 2.6t in 2022.

The data also said that the two companies made little progress in increasing plastic – by weight – in their reusable packaging range.

In 2021 and 2022, Coca-Cola revealed that the percentage for this matric was just 1.3% while Pepsi provided no data on this for the second consecutive year.

The companies have both committed to increasing their volume of beverages offered in reusable packaging by approximately 10% by 2030.

Oceana Strategic Initiatives senior vice-president Matt Littlejohn said: “It is unacceptable that Coca-Cola and Pepsi are increasing their use of plastic by hundreds of millions more pounds year over year. The companies’ efforts and pledges are not solving this problem.

“The best way for Coca-Cola and Pepsi to stop this relentless growth in plastic is to dramatically increase the use of refillable bottles – which can be used up to 50 times if made of glass. Just a 10% increase in refillable bottles in all coastal countries in place of single-use plastic could reduce marine plastic bottle pollution by 22%.”

Last month, Coca‑Cola revealed its plans to launch 100% recycled plastic bottles across Canada.