In a victory for another community in India, Coca-Cola has closed another water-guzzling bottling plant, this one in Uttar Pradesh. Anita was scandalised by Coca-Cola's activities in India and allied with the India Resource Center to expose the corporation's shameless exploitation of rural communities in India. But the fight is not over.
A year ago the India Resource Center sent a fact-finding team to the bottling site and documented a raft or horrifying instances of pollution there.
The plant ceased operations shortly after that, and just 3 days after a major protest to close the plant and clean up the site, the plant's operators informed the government that the plant would close permanently. Notably, they did not say it was the result of international pressure, nor did they acknowledge the revolting mess they have left behind.
This is the third plant that the India Resource Center has succeeded in closing. Two more are now on the radar for similar fates.
International pressure led Coca-Cola to submit to an assessment of its water usage at Indian bottling plants, and the results were damning at best. Coca-Cola plants in India continue to use local water supplies up, leaving little or nothing for local farmers and wells. The effluent and other chemical pollutants resulting from the manufacturing process litter the surrounding environments.
Local communities have admirably stood up to Coca-Cola, and pledge to keep up the pressure until Coca-Cola either cleans up its bottling practices or leaves.
We thank our friends at the India Research Center, who have been fighting Coca-Cola on behalf of rural Indian communities, for their tireless efforts in this campaign.