Drinks company SodaStream South Africa has joined the call to action urging Coca-Cola to develop a plan to ensure Cape Town residents have access to water. This follows a petition released earlier this week by Avaaz
, a global web movement that brings people-powered politics to decision-making.
The petition titled Coca-Cola: Save Cape Town from a water apocalypse
, calls on the bottling company to disclose local sources of water in Cape Town to urgently develop a plan ensuring residents have access to water. Avaaz specifically calls on Coca-Cola to 1) disclose local sources of water in Cape Town, 2) provide open access to that groundwater extraction to the public, 3) cut Coca-Cola production by half for the duration of the crisis, and 4) distribute bottled water for free to residents across Cape Town.
SodaStream South Africa’s managing director Francois Dippenaar says, “While there have been many consumer messages in the media related to reducing water consumption, bottling companies in the Western Cape have deliberately remained silent. Coca-Cola uses 2.13 litres to 1.7 litres of water to produce 1 litre of soft drink. Why have they not been held accountable for their flagrant disregard of water wastage? This ruthless pursuit of corporate profit has not only negatively impacted the environment and our country’s natural resources, but it has been at the expense of people living in the Cape.”
Encouraging public participation
According to SodaStream, Coca-Cola's water consumption in South Africa is massive. The company produces almost 40 different soft drinks and bottled water and has a huge stake in producing beer. However, according to Dippenaar consumers and government in Cape Town need to join the call to Coca-Cola and other bottling companies to take responsibility.
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“Our concern is that the public has a right to know where bottling companies like Coca-Cola are drawing their water sources from. Do they actually have a plan to help the people of the Western Cape and save water? Not only do they need to be held accountable for the high amounts of water wastage, but environmental pollution, like the PET bottles that constantly litter rivers and beaches. We want to know how Coca-Cola and other bottling organisations plan to cut production and open up water sources as Day Zero fast approaches.”