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About the Author

Hemant Jain
Writer, designer (Mumbai, India)

I am a writer and illustrator. I like to tell stories about the world I live in and keep a tab on India's environmental crimes here:


Google search of the day: “Coca Cola Greenwashing”

Published 12th April 2010 - 7 comments - 10067 views -

Go on, type that on google and see what you find.

There are hundreds of very interesting studies done on how Coke is one of the biggest greenwashers in the world today. What do you expect a company which takes your water, mixes insane amounts of sugar in it and sells it back to you at ten times the price? Happiness? Refreshment? Green? Sustainability? Oh C'mon, get real.

I am tagging this post as a Human Rights post. Guess why? Forget greenwashing, let's count the number of ways Coca Cola violates human rights.

Here we go:

1: On February 25, José Armando Palacios and José Alberto Vicente Chávez, along with their families, filed a lawsuit against the Coca-Cola Company in the New York State Supreme Court. The company is accused of allowing its bottling and processing plants in Guatemala to engage in a campaign of violence against the two men, both prominent union leaders. Though Coke claims the U.S. legal system is being manipulated, the prosecution maintains that Guatemala’s courts, rife with impunity, are incapable of delivering justice. Interested? Read more here:

2. "I don't know. I think Coca-Cola will leave Kala Dera one day. But it will only be when they have finished all the water here," ...Interested? Read on:

3. "The cases that were filed against Coca-Cola included such items as murder, abduction, kidnapping and torture." Makes you want to throw those Coke cans out of your fridge? Here. read more:

Here is the movie poster:


4: "In a major development, a High Power Committee established by the state government of Kerala in India has recommended today that Coca-Cola be held liable for Indian Rupees 216 crore (US$ 48 million) for damages caused as a result of the company’s bottling operations in Plachimada. The Coca-Cola bottling plant in Plachimada has remained shut down since March 2004 as a result of the community-led campaign in Plachimada challenging Coca-Cola’s abuse of water resources." Want to know why? Here, read on:

5. And here is a poster I created when insane amounts of pesticides were found in your favourite drink in India. Read it carefully and you may think twice before opening that ice cold can of sugar water: Click on it to enlarge and read. It has the data from the CSE report on pesticides found in colas. You will find the detailed report here:


I can go on and on, but I am inviting you to walk right up to your refrigerators, open some happiness and ask me questions. Just remember what I said. A company that steals your water, adds insane amounts of sugar in it and sells it back to you can't be sustainable or ethical. That, my friends is called Common Sense.

Close Happiness.


  • Lara Smallman on 12th April 2010:

    Forget the hideous amounts of sugar, that leaves one almighty bitter aftertaste, and I never even drink the stuff.

    As for the greenwashing, nobody cares (or at least nowhere enough people). Just look at their annual turnover, its colossal. Sadly, in the eyes of the majority, Coca Cola can do no wrong…

  • Marianne Diaz on 12th April 2010:

    I’ve always been surprised that there isn’t a lot more people concerned about the systematic murder commited by Coca Cola to their union workers, not to mention their repeated crimes to the environment.
    But, I guess, it’s sweet, famous and has a lot of money, so it can’t be bad.
    Thanks a lot for this post!

  • Lara Smallman on 12th April 2010:

    I’m planning on interviewing Coca Cola to hear their side of the story. Perhaps anyone with questions can post them up somewhere or send them to me on twitter @larasmallman

  • Hemant Jain on 13th April 2010:

    Lara, questions for them:
    Do they really think their business can be sustainable? And just how do they propose that? Will they stop using water? And wasting about ten litres of water for one bottle of Coke, how does that fit in the new world of water scarcity?
    Based on the above: When are they shutting shop? smile

  • Lara Smallman on 13th April 2010:

    Thanks Hemant, keep them coming!

  • Clare Herbert on 15th April 2010:

    Great post. Even if you’re not a coke drinker, Coca Cola produces Fanta Orange, water and loads of other popular soft drinks. Check the packaging before you buy, everyone.

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