Our recap from World Clean Up Day 2019

On World Clean Up Day we joined the amazing girls from Zero Waste Lab and went to Praia da Fonte da Telha for a beach clean-up. As parts of the #breakfreefromplastic movement, we decided to do a Brand Audit in order to help identify the corporations most responsible for plastic pollution.

What are we doing a brand audit for?

What exactly is this movement and a brand audit? Well, even though groundbreaking work and initiatives with the focus on reducing plastic pollution have been growing, corporations like McDonald’s, Nestle, Coca-Cola and Starbucks have continued to pump huge amounts of plastic waste into our worlds. The aim of the brand audit is to identify the worlds top corporate plastic polluters and make them accountable for the branded plastic pollution they have been causing. So how does it work? The idea is that after each cleanup, the trash is being sorted and accounted for every brand, category and type of material that has been picked. Break Free From Plastic provides all necessary information, steps and a tool kit you can download if you want to participate and join the movement.

Our observations from the Brand Audit: Sagres and SuperBock plastic cups were all over the place

When we arrived at the beach, driving down the parking lot it was already absolutely shocking. We drove past and witnessed huge amounts of trash lying around everywhere: bottles, cups, straws, packaging. Everywhere. We didn’t even know where to start and within 1 hour we already had over 70 kg of waste collected. It was so sad to see how people treat our beloved environment. When we finished picking up trash, we sat together and started to sort the waste. And it was unbelievable. We accounted for every brand, category and type of material. And carefully wrote everything down according to the Brand Audit guidelines. The top polluters we could identify after our clean-up were Sagres and Super Bock plastic cups, Mc Donald’s plastic waste and Coca Cola cans. Another outstanding amount of trash was cigarette waste: Packages, but also cigarette butts. It felt really good to actually see where most of the trash is coming from in order to start to understand where this whole problem of plastic pollution has its origin. Plastic polluters must be accounted for, especially since they are huge brands like Coca Cola and Nestle as they are such powerful and impactful brands. They need to change and be a better role model for our society.

Results from the global Brand Audit report: Coca, Cola, Nestle, Pepsi, Unilever, Mondelez take your responsibility!

On October 23rd, #breakfreefrompastic launched their Brand Audit 2019 report in order to reveal which brands are the largest global sources of plastic pollution. They used data from the MASSIVE worldwide brand audits across 6 continents, 51 countries, 484 brand audits, with 71,541 volunteers collecting 476,423 pieces of plastic. With twice as many brand audits and more than double of plastic collected and audited in 2019 compared to the previous year, we got the same results: Coca Cola, Nestle, Pepsi, Unilever and Mondelez are the Top Global Polluters for the second year in the row. Read the full report.

Want to become part of this amazing huge, worldwide movement and stand up together with us in fighting plastic pollution? Join the #breakfreefromplastic movement!