Tearfund Action

Message in a (Coke) bottle

Coca-Cola has been named as the world’s top plastic polluter in a new report from the global Break Free From Plastic coalition. 

The company produces 3 million tonnes of plastic packaging a year - the equivalent of 108 billion bottles. That’s 200,000 bottles a minute. 

Through our Rubbish Campaign, we’ve been calling on Coca-Cola - as well as Nestlé, PepsiCo and Unilever - to stop creating a plastic waste problem in poorer countries. They're selling plastic products in countries without waste collection, knowing full well that people will have to live among the rubbish, discard it in waterways, or burn it – which also contributes to climate change.

Join us in putting more pressure on Coca-Cola by sending them a message in a (Coke) bottle. Just follow these steps:

1) Prepare your bottle

To use a plastic bottle (for the biggest impact):

  • Find a used Coca-Cola branded plastic bottle - such as Coke, Sprite, Fanta, Powerade, Innocent, Oasis or Smartwater. You can use one of your own, ask friends or family, or find one in a recycling bin or (sadly) littered in your local area.
  • Make sure your bottle is clean and dry.

To use a ‘paper bottle’ letter:

2) Write a message

  • Write a message to Coca-Cola on a piece of paper (or your ‘paper bottle’).
  • You can write as little or as much as you like. It could be as simple as ‘Dear Coca-Cola, please STOP THE RUBBISH. #RubbishCampaign’. Don’t forget to include your name and our #RubbishCampaign hashtag.
  • You can also tell them why you care about reducing plastic waste. For more ideas on what you could include, see our blog.
  • If you’d like to, you can include your contact details and ask the company to respond to you.
  • Insert your message into your bottle. It may be easier for Coca-Cola to read your message if you choose a smaller bottle, leave the message poking out, or wrap it around the bottle. 

3) Send via social media and/or mail:

To maximise the impact on Coca-Cola, we’re inviting you to send your message via social media and/or physical mail. If you can do both - great! If you can only do one, that’s fine too.

Social Media:

  • Take a photo of your bottle and message, and share it on social media.
  • Make sure you tag @CocaCola and @Tearfund on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram, and use the hashtag #RubbishCampaign.


Send your bottle and message to Coca-Cola’s UK HQ:

Jon Woods, General Manager
Coca-Cola Great Britain
1A Wimpole St 
Marylebone, W1G 0EA 
  • If sending your plastic bottle, we recommend that you use an envelope, so that it’s easier for Royal Mail to process. 
  • You may want to flatten the bottle so that it is easier to fit in an envelope. 
  • Please let us know that you’ve taken action by emailing campaigns@tearfund.org so that we can have a good idea of how many plastic and paper bottles Coca-Cola have received.

You're done!

Please do share this action with your family, friends and church if you can. The more voices that call on Coca-Cola to do the right thing, the more chance we have of transforming the lives of people in poverty.

More info

Do you want to find out more? Take a look at the resources below, and check back for updates. 

Tearfund Blog - 'Sending Out An SOS'