Greenpeace Challenges Coke With Christmas Ads


Greenpeace is launching a Christmas social media campaign linking Coca Cola with the killing of seabirds in New Zealand.

This trio of hard-hitting videos aims to counter the soft drink giant’s seasonal advertising blitz.

“This time of year Coca Cola will try to boost sales of sugary drinks to kiwis, and sadly they’re still choosing to sell the majority of them in single-use plastic bottles,” says Greenpeace plastics campaigner Phil Vine. “That’s awful news for New Zealand seabirds.”

Coca Cola Amatil produces hundreds of millions of plastic bottles every year for New Zealand alone. An estimated 40 per cent of those will find their way into the environment – landfill and the ocean.

The bottles that end up in the sea are often identified as food by seabirds. It’s known that nine out of ten sea birds will eat plastic in their lifetime.

Beach audits have found tops from plastic bottles are one of the most common items of pollution on New Zealand shores, they’re also regularly found in the stomachs of dead birds.

“Even as far away as the remote Campbell Island where the Toroa or Royal Albatross nests, chicks have been found with multiple plastic bits in their stomach, fed to them by their unsuspecting parents,” says Vine.

From up high, floating drinks bottles can look just like squid to birds like Toroa. Earlier this year a juvenile Albatross died in veterinary hospital care after swallowing a 500ml bottle whole.

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Graeme Taylor, seabird expert from the Department of Conservation says in the video if that unfortunate bird had died at sea the plastic bottle would have floated free from the body to kill again.

Plastic bottles last for hundreds of years eventually breaking down into micro plastics which are eaten by fish and get into the human food chain.

“If you look at the amount of harm that can be done by just one plastic bottle and multiply it by one billion, the amount of drinks bottles we get through in New Zealand every year, that’s a heck of a lot of damage.”

We play host to a third of the world’s seabirds and ninety per cent of our indigenous seabirds are at risk of extinction.

“New Zealand’s seabirds are a national and international taonga, and like humans, deserve to live in an environment where they’re not being poisoned by plastic.”

Greenpeace is challenging Coca Cola to stop using plastic and revert to non-toxic options such as glass bottles or refillable containers, and calling on the Government to ban single-use plastic drink bottles.

More than fifty thousand New Zealanders have signed a Greenpeace petition calling on the Government to ban single use plastic drinks bottles.

It follows last year’s ban on plastic shopping bags at the checkout, won after a popular campaign.

Vine says: “For a country that cares about nature, banning plastic drinks bottles is the next obvious step.”