Coca Cola is a world famous company. Its 400 brands and products can be bought in over 200 countries and in India alone it creates more than 150,000 jobs, but the ‘coke side of life’ is not that happy shiny place the adverts would suggest. The coca cola plants in India waste an enormous amount of water, pollute the environment, and destroy communities and livelihoods. During an investigation on a plant in Delhi Sinhachawar the following was discovered:
- – The plant is indiscriminately dumping its sludge, considered to be industrial hazardous waste, across the plant premises, in complete violation of the laws regarding handling and disposal of industrial hazardous waste in India.- The Effluent Treatment Plant was non-operational, and the bottling plant was discharging its wastewater into surrounding agricultural fields and a canal that feeds into the river Ganges.- The plant did not disclose the amount of hazardous waste being used and generated, as required by the Supreme Court of India for all industrial units in India that deal with hazardous waste
This is not the only time this has happened. Coca Cola has been accused of similar wrong doings in many other parts of the country many times. It has been said to also sponsor over-exploitation and pollution of water resources, dangerous child labour in sugar fields in El Salvador (Human Rights Watch) , anti-worker policies (Turkey and Indonesia), and giving executives hundreds of millions of dollars in stock options while laying off thousands of employees. Sublime magazine recently reported that thousands of Indian families have been left without water, because Coca-cola’s water bottling plants have lowered the water tables and run the wells dry – yet another reason to avoid bottled water.
Sources: killercoke; India Resource Centre; Polaris Institute ; CIEPAC ; Human Rights Watch ; Colombia Solidarity
COKE products include: Coca Cola, Fanta, Dr. Pepper, Minute Maid, Oasis, Five Alive, Nestea, Powerade, Burn, Lilt, and Malvern Water.