KENYA – Africa’s largest beverage manufacturer, Coca-Cola Beverages Africa in Kenya has announced that it will be transitioning the Dasani water bottles for both the 500ml and 1L Packs to be sustainable and have a fresh modern look for its consumers.
The clear bottles will be made from PET (Polyethylene Terephthalate), which is highly recyclable; meaning it can be easily collected, sorted, and processed into new bottles, reducing the overall environmental impact.
In recent years, the soft drinks company launched its own study to ascertain the presence of microplastics in Dasani bottled water following a published report published indicating that the product is among world-famous brands contaminated by tiny pieces of plastic.
The research which was done by scientists based at the State University of New York, and commissioned by a non-profit media organization Orb, analyzed 259 bottles sold by 11 brands purchased in 19 locations in nine different countries.
The countries were Kenya, Indonesia, India, the US, Lebanon, Thailand, China, Mexico, Brazil, and the e-commerce platform Amazon.
The research indicated that samples of Dasani water bought from Amazon had a minimum and maximum concentration of 85 and 303 plastic pieces per litre, respectively while the concentration of microplastics in Dasani water sourced in Kenya topped 335 plastic pieces for every litre.
Coca-Cola in a statement said it has not verified the findings and stated that it has some of the most stringent quality standards in the industry.
“We stand by the safety of our products, and welcome continued study of plastics in our environment,” Coca-Cola said in a statement.
“However, as a precautionary measure, we have constituted a project team that will carry out a similar study, with a view to ascertaining if the findings in the study are valid. This independent study will inform our subsequent course of action,” the company added.
The presence of plastics does not however indicate that the water is harmful to health since studies on their effects on the human body are yet to be conducted.
However, it is a growing area of study as scientists get concerned by the increasing plastic pollution and its effect on human beings and the ecosystem.
UK medical journal Lancet in an article published in October 2017 on Microplastics and Human Health said that while no one has come out to quantify the effect of microplastics on human beings’ urgent measures are needed to reduce their use and to understand the effects of these particles on both ecosystems and the human body.