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There are literally dozens of reasons why you should not buy Coca-Cola. This article will expand on criticism of a drink company which is a health risk, an enemy of the environment, a global monster, and is blamed for the torture and murder of its workers.

No Humanity

Coca-Cola has been accused of paying paramilitary groups to threaten, intimidate and kill its workers. At least 10 union members at a Coca-Cola bottling plant in Columbia were killed by local militias. Killercoke.org was set up “to end the gruesome cycle of violence and collaboration with paramilitary thugs, particularly in Colombia. These atrocities include the systematic intimidation, kidnapping, torture and murder of union leaders and members of their families in efforts to crush their unions.”

Coca-Cola cut the faces of chimpanzees to test their fizzy drink. Until 2007, Coca-Cola funded experiments on animals, such as a study involving a Coca-Cola scientist that cut open the faces of chimpanzees to study nerve impulses used in the perception of sweet tastes. 

Mothers in Kenya are apparently killing their babies by feeding them Coca-Cola. Vincent Odhiambo, a human rights activist in Kibera, a city slum, said: ‘Some women are not in a position to have a family. It is known that if you give a baby Coca-Cola, it will die. ‘You can imagine giving a small baby Coca-Cola instead of breast milk – it can’t last more than three days.’ 

Coca-Cola supported racial segregation in South Africa. During the apartheid in the 1980s, the drinks company provided economic support to the racially segregated housing, workplaces and wages, whilst capturing 90% of the national market, and was one of the largest employers in the country. This resulted in protests across South Africa and the US.

Coca-Cola drains and pollutes water worldwide. In 2004, a Coca-Cola bottling plant in India was shut down by locals after it was accused of “draining and polluting” the water supply in the state of Kerala. A court found that the plant had “aggravated the water scarcity situation”. An appeal by Coca-Cola to re-open the plant is ongoing. 

Coca-Cola funded scientists who misled the public. The Global Energy Balance Network attempted to shift the blame of health problems away from dietary concerns and towards a lack of exercise. Health experts stated that this information was misleading, thus furthering the international problem of obesity and diabetes. 

Coca-Cola makes massive profits for its useless drink. According to Business Insider, a can of Coca-Cola costs around £0.12 to make, and is sold at a price between £0.37 and £1.11 per can. If we split the difference and say that the average can of Coca-Cola costs £0.74, this is a 516% markup – for a product which is linked to the deaths of its workers, poses a significant health risk, destroys the environment and provides no real benefit to the customer!

Health Risk

Coca-Cola contains 150% of the recommended amount of added sugar in a single can. Despite the recommendation of the WHO to consume no more than six teaspoons of added sugar per day, millions of people will drink Coca-Cola, which contains nearly ten teaspoons in each can.

The risks of Coca-Cola drinks to our health are well-known, and yet there are no restrictions on the purchase of it. According to a study, the average person in the UK consumes 322 cans of sugary drinks a year, which is two litres per week. Of these sugary drinks, Coca-Cola is the most popular (as of 2018). 

Coca-Cola can cause tooth decay, diabetes and obesity, as well as strokes and dementia. The drink is extremely rich in sugar, especially sucrose, which causes tooth decay and diabetes when consumed regularly. Besides this, the high caloric value contributes to obesity. Both are major health issues in the UK. Additionally, a literature review in 2018 found that sugary drinks contain certain compounds and chemicals which increase the risk of strokes and dementia.

Sugary drinks are a worldwide killer. A study in 2015 found that 184,000 people die every year due to their consumption of sugary drinks, which is more than 13% of the amount of people who die in road traffic accidents globally.

Coca-Cola is addictive like heroin. The drink functions in the same way as an addictive drug; it triggers the production of dopamine, which urges the consumer to drink another can.

Coca-Cola contains no nutrients whatsoever! The risk isn’t even worth it – no vitamins, no calcium, no iron, no potassium.

Environmental Enemy

Coca-Cola is the leading contributor of plastic pollution for the fourth year in a row. Amongst a list including PepsiCo, Unilever and Nestlé, brand audits recorded more pollution from Coca-Cola products than the next two top polluters combined, as has been the case each year since 2019. 

The odds are that you have (or will) all consume plastic particles from a coke bottle at some point. According to Senator Tom Udall, “we are consuming a credit card’s worth of plastic per week”, which is largely contributed-to by Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola’s on the environment are immeasurable. How many refrigerators, vending machines, and open-face displays are sucking energy to keep Coke products cold right now? How many acres of farmland are growing corn to make corn syrup for Coca-Cola? What else could that corn be used for? What else could those acres be used for? How many trucks are out there delivering Coca-Cola products right now?

Coca-Cola has even been sued for its false sustainability claims. In 2021, the company was sued for deceiving the public by claiming to be far more environmental than it actually is. The Complaint alleges that not only has Coca-Cola failed to implement an effective recycling strategy, it has actively opposed legislation that would improve recycling rates.

Coca-Cola produces 3 million tonnes of plastic packaging a year – equivalent to 200,000 bottles a minute. This is equal to the weight of more than 115 Titanics. In plastic bottles. Every year.

Coca-Cola intentionally extends the ecological crisis for its own gain. Through industry groups, the company has been lobbying against legislation like the bottle bill for decades, which would be a greatly constructive step to repairing our environment. Massive companies are unfortunately able to influence policy in order to benefit their own business, kicking the can of ecological crisis further down the road.

Now imagine if Coca-Cola didn’t exist at all. After the sugar-hangover wears off, would we miss it? The environment surely wouldn’t.

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