It depends how you are posing this question. If you are asking if the company Coca-Cola is bad for the Environment, the answer is yes. They have been accused of stealing water from residents of India and then being “aggressive” with the Indian government when try to resolve the issues. If you are talking about coke itself being bad, it has been found in experiments to dissolve nails within 72 hours and aluminum cans are somewhat damaging to the environment, though not near as bad as plastic.
Coca-Cola has embarked on a campaign to paint a picture of itself as driven towards efforts of environmental consciousness and sustainability. But investigations have revealed the company has committed extensive environmental harm in countries outside the U.S, particularly India. In 2007 the India Resource Center found that the company violated a number of environmental laws in dumping toxic sludge in rural areas near its bottling factory in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. The highly toxic sludge was found to be discharging into nearby agricultural fields and ultimately feeding into the Ganges river, which provides water to thousands of local farmers and people. With farmland harmed and well water sucked dry, many local people had their way of life and access to basic resources destroyed by the company’s lax standards in the country.
That said, Coca-Cola’s Environmental Initiatives Plan from its 2009 Sustainability Report paints a much different picture of itself, as focused on water efficiency and local initiatives and concerned about its effects on the environment. It is essential to pay attention to the global environmental effects that a company can have. Although Coca-Cola is embarking on local initiatives in the U.S., it has enforced a brutal double standard as far as environmental regulations overseas, fundamentally effecting local people in ways that are invisible to consumers who drink Coke in the U.S.
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