A study by marine conservation charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) found that two-thirds of the UK’s plastic and packaging pollution can be traced back to just 12 companies.
Tesco, Carlsberg Group, Suntory, Haribo, Mars and Aldi were also among the most commonly picked up.
“Serial offenders including Coca-Cola – which tops the leader board year on year as the worst offender – are still not taking responsibility,” said SAS chief executive Hugo Tagholm.
“Legislation such as an ‘all-in’ deposit scheme needs to be introduced urgently and governments need to hold these companies to account and turn off the tap of plastic and packaging pollution flooding the ocean.”
The group is calling on companies to reduce their packaging and switch to refill models, as well as on the government to expand measures beyond small containers classified as ‘on-the-go’.
The UK also needs legislation that ends the production and consumption of non-essential single-use polluting plastics, that ensures effective resource use and waste management and business models within companies that are focused on reduction and reuse, SAS said.