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What Consumers Really Think Of Coca-Cola’s Plastic Bottles


When a Coca-Cola executive talked about the company’s plastic bottles during the annual meeting for the World Economic Forum, she explained that consumers preferred them. However, a new survey from Piplsay revealed that consumers are more open-minded than some corporations believe.

Are Consumers Willing to Change?

Bea Perez, Coca-Cola’s senior vice president and communications and sustainability officer, said that consumers still wanted single-use plastic bottles. Although the company has plans to switch to 50% recycled materials by 2030, it continues to rely on plastic. It is cheap, lightweight, flexible and resealable.

Piplsay surveyed 32,677 Americans to see what they thought about Coca-Cola’s plastic bottles. The results showed 51% of Americans would buy Coke even if the bottles were heavier or came in nonsealable packaging, and 42% of Americans thought Coca-Cola should use eco-friendly packaging such as glass or aluminum for its bottles.

The survey showed that 64% of Americans believe brands like Coca-Cola should be more responsible toward the environment, and only 10% think that the company is doing enough now. In addition, 32% said Coca-Cola should recycle all of the bottles it makes, and 18% thought the company should use less plastic per bottle.

Why Brands Have to Pave the Way

Although many consumers are willing to change their dependence on single-use plastic items, there are barriers that brands can help overcome. For example, one of the biggest reasons why consumers do not use more reusable bottles instead of single-use plastic ones is because they forget their bottles at home. Convenience frequently beats eco-friendly ideas. If brands do not provide convenient, green options, then consumers often do not or cannot make better choices.

As the Piplsay survey showed, people would buy Coca-Cola in other types of packaging if the company stopped using single-use plastic. Glass and aluminum are common alternatives, and the company already sells some of its products in these materials, but there are other options, too. Some companies sell their beverages in paper cartons that are recyclable. Another alternative is plant based-plastic made from corn, sugarcane or other resources.

About 44% of all the plastic produced on the planet was made after 2000. Global plastic production has increased dramatically in the last 20 years, and both developed and developing countries depend on it. It will take a concerted effort from consumers and corporations to reduce the production and purchase of single-use plastics.


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