Coca-Cola has stopped supporting a pro-plastic lobbying firm after pressure from Greenpeace
via Mike Mozart / Flickr

By the end of the decade, over half a trillion single-use plastic bottles will be sold annually. In 2016, fewer than half those bottles were picked up for recycling and just seven percent were turned into new bottles.

The Coca-Cola Company, which owns Coke products and some of the biggest brands in the beverage industry, including Minute Maid, Sprite, Dasani, and Smart Water, is responsible for over 100 billion single-use plastic bottles produced annually.

Americans, especially millennials, are becoming increasingly concerned with the dangers caused by single-use plastics. A study published in Market Watch found 73 percent of millennials would pay more for sustainable products compared with 66 percent among all generations.


Feeling the heat from the country's growing plastic concerns, Coca-Cola has left the Plastics Industry Association, a lobbying firm that worked to prevent plastic-bag bans in the U.S. Pepsi said it is planning on leaving the organization later this year. The alliance helped push 15 states in the U.S. to pass laws to prevent bag bans from taking effect.

Related: Joe Rogan called out SeaWorld's treatment of dolphins and whales and he makes a great point.



Greenpeace said the two beverage giants left the trade association after environmental groups raised concerns about plastics industry environmental policies. https://t.co/arElNcuLkQ via @plasticsnews
— Don Loepp (@donloepp) July 23, 2019

Greenpeace is claiming victory over Coca-Cola's decision. In 2018, the environmentalist group highlighted the lobbying firm's role in undermining progress of plastic pollution.

"Companies understand that they cannot publicly say they want to end plastic pollution, while financially supporting an association that lobbies for our continued reliance on throwaway plastics," said Greenpeace USA Oceans Campaign Director John Hocevar.

"This is a victory for every person that spoke up and asked Coca-Cola and PepsiCo to put their money where their mouths are and tell the Plastics Industry Association to stop preventing plastic reduction efforts," Hocevar continued.

Last year Coca-Cola announced an ambitious plan to create packaging made of at least 50 percent recycled material by 2030; to help collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one the company sells by 2030; and to partner with industry, governments, and local communities to tackle the global issue of plastic waste. Coca-Cola's association with a lobbying firm that aggressively works to undermine efforts to reduce plastic pollution seemed hypocritical to say the least.

The company's decision to leave the lobbying organization is noble, but it comes at a time when global plastic production is well past 350 million tons a year with no signs of slowing. Greenpeace's work to stop Coca-Cola's support of an environmentally harmful organization shows the power environmentalists and consumers have to cull the efforts of gross polluters.


Coca-Cola, 1971 - 'Hilltop' | "I'd like to buy the world a Coke" www.youtube.com

Hopefully, in the future consumers can wise up and realize if we want the world in harmony, it's probably best to buy it a Coke.


Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash
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This story was originally shared on Capital One.

Inside the walls of her kitchen at her childhood home in Guatemala, Evelyn Klohr, the founder of a Washington, D.C.-area bakery called Kakeshionista, was taught a lesson that remains central to her business operations today.

"Baking cakes gave me the confidence to believe in my own brand and now I put my heart into giving my customers something they'll enjoy eating," Klohr said.

While driven to launch her own baking business, pursuing a dream in the culinary arts was economically challenging for Klohr. In the United States, culinary schools can open doors to future careers, but the cost of entry can be upwards of $36,000 a year.

Through a friend, Klohr learned about La Cocina VA, a nonprofit dedicated to providing job training and entrepreneurship development services at a training facility in the Washington, D.C-area.

La Cocina VA's, which translates to "the kitchen" in Spanish, offers its Bilingual Culinary Training program to prepare low-and moderate-income individuals from diverse backgrounds to launch careers in the food industry.

That program gave Klohr the ability to fully immerse herself in the baking industry within a professional kitchen facility and receive training in an array of subjects including culinary skills, food safety, career development and English language classes.

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Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons

Wil Wheaton speaking to an audience at 2019 Wondercon.

In an era of debates over cancel culture and increased accountability for people with horrendous views and behaviors, the question of art vs. artist is a tricky one. When you find out an actor whose work you enjoy is blatantly racist and anti-semitic in real life, does that realization ruin every movie they've been a part of? What about an author who has expressed harmful opinions about a marginalized group? What about a smart, witty comedian who turns out to be a serial sexual assaulter? Where do you draw the line between a creator and their creation?

As someone with his feet in both worlds, actor Wil Wheaton weighed in on that question and offered a refreshingly reasonable perspective.

A reader who goes by @avinlander asked Wheaton on Tumblr:

"Question: I have more of an opinion question for you. When fans of things hear about misconduct happening on sets/behind-the-scenes are they allowed to still enjoy the thing? Or should it be boycotted completely? Example: I've been a major fan of Buffy the Vampire Slayer since I was a teenager and it was currently airing. I really nerded out on it and when I lost my Dad at age 16 'The Body' episode had me in such cathartic tears. Now we know about Joss Whedon. I haven't rewatched a single episode since his behavior came to light. As a fan, do I respectfully have to just box that away? Is it disrespectful of the actors that went through it to knowingly keep watching?"

And Wheaton offered this response, which he shared on Facebook:

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."