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Coca-Cola Says It Won’t Ditch Plastic Bottles

Plus, San Antonio’s fight against Chick-fil-A has cost more than $300,000, and more news to start your day

Rows of plastic Coca-Cola bottles on a shelf.
Customers like plastic bottles because they’re lightweight and resealable, says Coca-Cola.
Photo: NeydtStock /

Coca-Cola says the people still want plastic bottles

With the environment and sustainability top of mind in the midst of an increasingly dire climate crisis, consumers and even brands like Starbucks are turning their attention towards decreasing the amount of plastic waste that ends up in landfills or in the ocean. Coca-Cola, however, apparently won’t be joining the anti-plastic brigade, BBC reports. The beverage giant will not stop using single-use plastic bottles because consumers still want them, said Bea Perez, the brand’s head of sustainability, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Customers like the bottles because they’re lightweight and resealable, Perez told BBC. “Business won’t be in business if we don’t accommodate consumers.”

Instead of switching to purely aluminum and glass packaging, which Perez said could increase the brand’s carbon footprint, Coca-Cola is looking at changing up bottling infrastructure and focusing on recycling. The company’s sustainability goals, unveiled in 2018, include making all consumer packaging 100 percent recyclable by 2025, and using packaging that’s made of at least 50 percent recycled material by 2030.

Last year, Coca-Cola was named the most polluting brand for the second year in a row in an audit of plastic waste led by the Break Free From Plastic movement. The soda company produces 3 million tonnes (3.3 million U.S. tons) of plastic packaging per year, Coca-Cola revealed for the first time in March 2019.

In Davos, Perez said the company recognized it now must be “part of the solution.”

And in other news…

  • San Antonio has paid at least $315,000 over the city council’s decision to keep Chick-fil-A out of its airport, which led to two lawsuits and a federal investigation. [Grub Street]
  • The current food-safety system splits responsibility for different foods between the USDA and the FDA, and according to a new report, that results in a gap in effective oversight and coordination. Overall, U.S. meat recalls are on the rise, the study shows. [Bloomberg Law]
  • Donna Marie Malnati of Chicago’s Lou Malnati’s deep-dish pizza family has died. [Chicago Sun-Times]
  • A Michelin-starred restaurant in England is attracting some heat for allegedly refusing to let a customer postpone a reservation date — or get his £660 deposit back — after the man’s father died suddenly. [Vice]
  • Jonathan “Foodgod” Cheban shilled for a burger brand that turned out to be a predatory, scammy chain, and now the food influencer is trying to get the chain to pay him and stop using his image for promotion. [Page Six]
  • ElBulli is putting out an open call for “creative people” to work at its lab. [elBulli Foundation]
  • Pete Wells defends restaurant noise. [NYT]

All AM Intel Coverage [E]

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