Saturday, February 23, 2008

Heard the one about how Coke loves to hug trees?

So the message on the bottle has been labeled greenwash. Coca-Cola Amatil and its partner Landcare now finds themselves in the spotlight over whether their relationship is an appropriate one. CCA makes millions of bottles of water, most of which end up in landfill. It also drains large amounts of water from underground reserves to put in its Mount Franklin brand. Furthermore it has been at the forefront of the battle to stop a national scheme to reward people who return their plastic and glass bottles, such as the one in existence in South Australia where recycling rates put the rest of Australia in the shade. Case closed; CCA is guilty of greenwash.

Yet there is something within me that feels if every time we shoot down a company for 'trying to do the right thing' then they will rightly feel that why should they bother. CCA would like us to think that because they are putting money into a scheme that will see 250,000 trees planted to offset the greenhouse gas emissions from the manufacture and distribution of 8 million water bottles, they are truly sincere. As its frustrated spokeswoman Sally Loane told me: "What would you rather us do - nothing?"

She has a point. Is CCA's Landcare scheme really going to change the world? No. Is it a start? Perhaps?

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