Hidden Hazards: The Chemical Footprint of a Plastic Bottle

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Worldwide, the beverage industry buys more than 500 billion plastic bottles every year to package its products. This insatiable demand for plastic bottles drives the production of a common plastic known as polyethylene terephthalate or PET. Plastic bottles consume a quarter of all PET plastic production worldwide. A first-ever study, Hidden Hazards: The Chemical Footprint of a Plastic Bottle, reveals the potential threats to human health, environmental justice, and climate change created by the chemical manufacturing and plastics production processes required to turn crude oil and fossil gas into plastic bottles, as well as from consumption of plastic-bottled beverages and final disposal of the bottles. All along the plastic bottle supply chain, these burdens fall heaviest on communities of color and low-income communities. The report urges Coca-Cola and other beverage companies to take immediate action to require suppliers to replace antimony and cobalt in plastic bottles with safer alternatives and to achieve zero discharge of cancer-causing chemicals to the air and water along its supply chain. By 2030, these companies should replace 50% of plastic bottles with reusable and refillable container systems and end the use of virgin fossil-based PET plastic by 2040 to help solve the climate crisis and minimize toxic burdens.

Access the report webpage: here.

Read the executive summary: here.

Read the press release: here.

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