Coca-Cola Wins Case Against Recycling in Australia, Calls Police on Protesters

In an unsettling turn of events this weekend, Coca-Cola has won a Federal court case in Australia against a Northern Territory recycling scheme which was poised to help reduce the number of plastic bottles and products which currently trash the landscape. The court decision relates to an attempt in January of 2012 by the Northern Territory to institute a deposit scheme for used bottles and cans. According to Andy Sharwood of News.com.au, Coca-Cola reacted to the scheme by taking the Northern Territory to court with the claim that deposit schemes are ineffective methods of encouraging recycling. Sharwood comments that many proponents of the scheme feel that Coca-Cola had alterative reasons for opposing the scheme, and "believe the real reason for the beverage giants' opposition to the scheme was that they didn't like the extra 10 cents added to the retail price."

Furthermore, following the court proceedings this weekend, a number of protesters from the organization called "Clean Up Australia" gathered at Coke's Sydney headquarters in order to deposit 4,000 plastic bottles on the premises -- bottles which had all been collected that weekend in a large clean up effort.  Coca-Cola's response was to ignore the protesters and call in the police, who threatened to charge the protestors (ironically enough) with littering should they continue their demonstration. 

Coca-Cola's court victory is one which has left many feeling frustrated, and Greenpeace spokesman Reece Turner expressed outrage at Coke's efforts to seem concerned for the welfare of the environment and for consumers after this move. Turner concludes that this behavior "...is the height of corporate arrogance, and any claims Coke makes in future about sustainability have been completely trashed."

For further information on the court case and on Coca-Cola's response to public outcry, please see the full article here.

Photo via James Lorenz, Greenpeace.

 

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