Matt Palmer was part of protest at Innocent Drinks' headquarters
Matt Palmer being arrested at Innocent Drinks HQ
A 48-year-old man from Putney has been arrested and charged while dressed as a strawberry while protesting at the office of a drinks company.
This Monday morning (22 June), Matt Palmer joined nine other members of direct action group Plastics Rebellion who staged a sit-in at 9am at Fruit Towers, Ladbroke Grove, headquarters of Innocent Drinks, which is majority-owned by Coca-Cola.
He was arrested along with a pear and a pineapple as well as two other people not dressed as fruit. They were all charged with aggravated trespass and released on bail at 11.30pm.
The sit in was a protest against Innocent Drinks’ “Little Drinks Big Dreams” campaign which the group describes as ‘greenwashing’. They believe Innocent is exploiting the issue of climate change to sell more of its product even though its activities are environmentally harmful.
Earlier in the month Plastics Rebellion had demanded that Innocent withdraw the TV advert promoting the campaign and apologise for misleading the public by claiming that buying its drinks contributed to “fixing up the planet”.
An invitation to Innocent to discuss the matter received what Plastics Rebellion describe as an evasive reply.
Plastics Rebellion sit-in at the company's Ladbroke Grove office
A spokesperson for Plastics Rebellion said, “Innocent claim to be ‘sustainable capitalists’, ‘working to improve resilience to supply risks like climate change, water scarcity, soil degradation (all caused by intensive monoculture farming) because ... these have become very real business risks’. Yet their new factory in Rotterdam will produce 32,000 new plastic bottles per hour. “
Coca-Cola, majority owner of Innocent, is the world’s top plastic polluter for the third year running, according to Break Free from Plastic.
A spokesperson for Innocent Drinks said, "innocent is always sympathetic and receptive to organisations which are working to safeguard the planet for future generations, and responded to an initial visit by Plastics Rebellion and its specific questions around our businesses sustainability measures before this latest visit.
"innocent has always been a mission-driven business, and we are always striving to reduce environmental impact in everything we do. As part of this commitment, we have been a B Corp since 2018 and our CEO is co-leader of the Better Business Act (BBA) ¬– a campaign to make UK businesses more responsible and accountable. We are on target for full carbon neutrality, right across our business and supply chain by 2030 at the latest.
"innocent is part of schemes including the Ellen MacArthur New Plastics Economy (with which we work very closely on circularity) and the UK Plastics Pact and have consistently pioneered ideas and technologies designed to cut plastic waste. This summer, we'll be trialling our ‘future bottle’, made from 50% rPET and 50% plant material, with the objective that we’ll use it for all our packaging as soon as possible. "
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June 28, 2021