Seeing two sides of the story…

Before I express my view on this advertising campaign please take the time to watch the following video…

I am in two minds about this advertising campaign. Firstly I can see where Greenpeace are coming from. The amount of plastic in the environment is astounding. However were they right to direct all the blame on Coca-Cola. What about the consumers of these products? Would these products end up polluting the environment and killing wildlife if people didn’t litter?

I live in South Australia where there is a 10c deposit scheme in place for glass and plastic bottles, flavoured milk cartons and juice boxes. There are many reasons I like this scheme. There is less litter in the form of bottles and cartons. It also has a big affect on the micro-economy. It may sit uncomfotably for some seeing an old man rummage through bins and collecting cans and bottles but this may pay for his train ticket or a meal for the night. Is that such a bad thing? Many sports clubs (especially junior clubs) raise money through the collecting cans and bottles. It also seems to be a right of passage for South Aussie kids and earning a little extra pocket money. I know I loved it when I was a kid (back then it was only 5c).

So what has triggered all this? After a similar scheme was introduced to the Northern Territory a judge ruled earlier this year in favour of the big three beverage companies, Coca-Cola Amatil, Schweppes Australia and Lion Pty Ltd, that the scheme was invalid.

NT vows to appeal drink can deposit ruling

So putting littering issues aside. Do these major beverage companies have an ethical responsibility to the consumer? I believe they do. If we are to live in a sustainable society companies need to be aware and look at life cycle management. This is instead of producing the product and forgetting about it once it leaves the warehouse. Companies need to ensure the responsible diposal of their product is accounted for.

So back to the advert. I can relate to what Greenpeace are trying to achieve in this campaign and it is a serious topic. However I believe they were wrong to point the finger directly at Coca-Cola as they are not the only ones preventing the scheme from going ahead. Perhaps the use of generic bottles could have been used. I’m sure many people would have put two and two together.

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