The Philippines is one of the standout countries with high market shares for refillable systems
According to Oceana, just a 10% increase in the market share of refillable bottles in all coastal countries would take up to 7.6 billion single-use plastic bottles out of the oceans every year. In the Philippines, marine plastic bottle pollution could decrease in the country by 24%.
Oceana launched on April 14, 2022, its #RefillAgain campaign, calling on soft drink and beverage companies to commit to offer more refillable bottles in place of single-use plastic bottles as packaging of their products.
A report by Oceana found that just a 10% increase in refillable bottles in all coastal countries would take up to 7.6 billion single-use plastic bottles out of the oceans every year. The Philippines is one of the standout countries with high market shares for refillable systems along with Indonesia, South Korea, India, and China. As of 2018, 47% of soft drinks in the Philippines were sold in glass, polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic, and other refillable bottles. Unfortunately, the market share of refillables is shrinking globally, and refillable glass and PET bottles are being replaced by single-use PET bottles.
“The companies have done this before, and they can definitely go back to using refillables if they want to help save our ocean and our natural life support system that badly needs protection for our children and their children. We invite consumers to be an engaged part of this movement to reduce plastic waste in our ocean by calling on the manufacturers of soft drinks and beverages to stop using single-use plastic bottles,” said Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Oceana Vice President.
Oceana launched its petition through email blast messages to The Coca-Cola Company, PepsiCo, and Nestle in the Philippines. The consumers are urging these companies to increase their market share of refillable bottles and reduce single-use plastic bottles and other single-use plastic packaging in their soft drinks and other beverage products.
Plastic pollution is killing our oceans. The equivalent of two garbage trucks worth of plastic are dumped into our oceans every minute and up to 34 billion plastic bottles become marine pollution every year. The results are devastating for ocean ecosystems, people and animals like sea turtles, birds, and whales.
“Single-use plastic bottles are a bad idea that we’ve gotten used to,” said Matt Littlejohn, Oceana’s Senior Vice President for Strategic Initiatives. “Our campaign was designed to show the absurdity of single-use. The time to act is now as the production of single-use plastic is set to grow by 30% in the next five years. Fortunately, in the case of soft drink companies — cited as the top polluting brands for the last three years by the Break Free From Plastic Movement— there is a proven and practical way to reduce throwaway plastic bottles by increasing the share of refillable bottles. If we want to save the oceans, we need to refill again.”
Recycling is an empty promise as only 9% of all plastic waste ever produced has been recycled. The best way to keep plastic bottles from polluting the oceans is to replace them with refillable bottles. Refillable bottles are those that companies sell to customers that are then returned, washed, refilled, and sold again. Customers return these bottles because they pay a deposit that is refunded to them upon returning the bottle. The bottles, made from PET plastic and glass, are used 20 to 50 times and are essentially all returned and collected by the companies, as opposed to single-use plastic bottles, which are used once, disposed of, and not returned to the beverage companies.
In the wake of campaigning by Oceana and its allies, the Coca-Cola Company has made a commitment to increase the share of their products sold in refillable and reusable containers to 25% of everything it sells by volume by 2030. In addition, PepsiCo recently committed to making its own reusable goal by the end of this year.
“It’s time to go back to the future,” added Littlejohn. “Well-managed refillable systems help reduce plastic pollution and the threat of climate change. We hope that Coca-Cola honors its commitment and that other beverage companies follow suit, reducing single-use plastic and increasing refillable bottles.”
Oceana is an international advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans. Since 2014, Oceana has been working closely with national and local government agencies, civil society, fisherfolk and other stakeholders to restore abundance of Philippine fisheries and marine resources.