A Reddit user posted the photo of the single drink can sealed in what appears to be single-use plastic packaging. “Almost impressive how ridiculous it is, if it weren’t so depressing,” another user commented.
Other commenters quickly concluded that the can had been individually wrapped to be used as a free sample. However, the general practice of overpackaging food items, particularly produce, is sadly common. “I feel like at this point, killing the planet is the intended outcome,” another user commented.
The issues with plastic packaging are multifold. Slow — or impossible — to break down, plastic accumulates in the ocean, rivers, forests, and cities in every part of the world. Plastic clogs drains, makes its way into nests and dens, and even ends up in the stomachs of many types of wildlife that frequently starve to death because they’re stuffed full of plastic.
And even without external plastic wrapping, commenters pointed out an unsavory truth about aluminum cans. “I don’t think people realize that cans have a plastic liner inside,” one Redditor commented. “So they may be consuming aluminum cans to avoid plastic, but they are still using plastic.”
Beyond creating plastic waste, this also means consumers may be interacting with more chemicals than they realize. In fact, Coca-Cola Canada confirmed it uses BPA, a chemical known to be toxic, in can liners.
Brands are aware of the problem — and some, including Pepsi, are converting their plastic packaging to more sustainable options. By opting for brands that utilize plastic-free packaging, consumers can help incentivize a plastic-free future. Fortunately, many people are innovating plastic-free packaging alternatives — such as the University of Cambridge researchers who invented vegan spider silk or the startup that makes ‘plastic’ wrap from nothing other than discarded potatoes.
By shopping as consciously as we can and educating ourselves about the truth behind mass-produced items, we can change the way we hold corporations accountable.
One Redditor commented, “Caught me by surprise—why does the can need to be packaged as well? Overkill!”
Another commenter had a tongue-in-cheek remark: “Would you like a bag for that?”
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