While global consumer brands now acknowledge their role in perpetuating the crisis, the report said they “have been equally aggressive in promoting false solutions to address the problem”.
Promoting recycling is their way of shifting responsibility to consumers, it said.
Just nine percent of all plastic produced since the 1950s has actually been recycled, the report said.
The report deems single-serve multilayered sachets, common in Southeast Asia and aimed at low-income families that cannot afford bigger volumes of consumer products, as “the most damaging type of plastic packaging”.
Coca-Cola’s promotion of a single-use bottle using plastic collected from the oceans, as well as PepsiCo’s efforts to promote recycling, “do not get to the heart of the problem and all but guarantee the plastic pollution crisis will grow worse”.
Nestle sells over a billion products a day in single-use packaging “but has no clear plans for reducing the total amount” it puts into the world, the report alleged.
The firm said it was working towards solutions “to make reports like this a thing of the past”.
“As the world’s largest food and beverage company, we know we have an important role to play in shaping sustainable solutions to tackle the issue of plastics waste,” a Nestle spokesperson told AFP in a statement.
“It is completely unacceptable for this (plastic) packaging to end up as litter in the environment and we are working hard to make all of our packaging either recyclable or reusable by 2025.”
The report said companies should veer away from promoting “false solutions” — such as recycling and so-called “bioplastics” — and instead transition from a throwaway economy.
All the companies named have made public commitments to reduce plastic waste and increase recycling.
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo — like Nestle — have pledged to make their packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The beverage giants have also pulled out of a US lobbying organisation that represents the plastics industry.
“Changing the way society makes, uses, and disposes of packaging is a complex challenge and we’re playing our part,” a PepsiCo spokesperson told AFP.
“We want to help build a system where plastic packaging never becomes waste.”
The Coca-Cola Company said it was working to help stop plastic waste entering the seas, describing it as a “critical global issue”.
“Any time our packaging ends up in our oceans — or anywhere that it doesn’t belong — is unacceptable to us,” the firm said in a statement.
Break Free from Plastics counts 6,118 individuals and 1,475 organisations around the world as its members, including Greenpeace.