But Bang Energy wasn’t the only loser in that lawsuit. As one Redditor has discovered, all those false-advertising cans have generated a significant amount of waste, which could harm the environment.
Posting to the r/Anticonsumption subreddit, the user shared a photo of dozens of Bang cans that they retrieved from a Dollar Tree dumpster.
“Saved these from the landfill,” they wrote in a caption.
Monster Beverage Corp successfully sued Vital Pharmaceuticals, the company behind Bang, in April for falsely labeling its cans with the ingredient “super creatine,” Reuters reported.
Creatine is an organic supplement that can stimulate muscle growth, and indicating it was an ingredient of Bang Energy gave the item the appearance of being a superior health drink. But the jury concluded that Bang Energy contains no creatine and that the company was guilty of false advertising.
Bang Energy was then given 60 days to remove “super creatine” from its marketing and cans that may mislead customers.
It’s not clear from the Reddit post exactly why the Bang cans were in the dumpster, nor is it clear whether some of its drinks were recalled. But, it may be worth noting that food recalls are becoming more common, with U.S. food recalls increasing by 10% between 2013 and 2018, according to U.S. PIRG.
An often neglected side effect of food waste and recalls is the environmental impact. The air pollution generated from transport could effectively double if products are sent back to their original manufacturer.
The freight industry already accounts for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide, with its carbon dioxide emissions expected to double by 2050, according to an MIT Climate Portal explainer.
If food products then go to landfills, they can add to the world’s substantial food waste problem.
As food waste decays in landfills, it releases planet-warming gases like methane — in the U.S., the production of wasted food emits the equivalent of 32.6 million cars worth of harmful planet-warming gases.
“Pretty wasteful since aluminum is very recyclable, but they probably tossed them because they’re not good anymore,” wrote one user.
One Dollar Tree worker chimed in about corporate decisions to pull products. “We don’t know why we have to get rid of them, we never get told why, just we have to do it,” they wrote. “I hate it, I’ve taken and kept some items that were Pennied out we can’t sell (like 40 some hats to donate instead of throwing away).”
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