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A set of posters conceptualised by CAG and designed by Urban Design Collective to help citizens, leaders, decision-makers, consumers, understand the current state of Solid Waste Management in Chennai and move to a sustainable waste management practice that is decentralised, less-expensive and inclusive. It endeavours to help one reduce the waste at source, understand the nature of materials and their end-of-life, learn frugal ways of composting and reflect on larger socio-economic issues around waste and its management and its impacts on the environement, public health and the dignity of labour


Zero Waste Cities Collaborative

Solid Waste Management

Manila, Philippines - Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé were the most frequent companies identified in 239 cleanups and brand audits spanning 42 countries and six continents, the Break Free From Plastic movement announced today. Over 187,000 pieces of plastic trash were audited, identifying thousands of brands whose packaging relies on the single-use plastics that pollute our oceans and waterways globally. Coca-Cola was the top polluter in the global audit, with Coke-branded plastic pollution found in 40 of the 42 participating countries. This brand audit effort is the most comprehensive snapshot of the worst plastic polluting companies around the world.

“These brand audits offer undeniable proof of the role that corporations play in perpetuating the global plastic pollution crisis,” said Global Coordinator of Break Free From Plastic Von Hernandez. “By continuing to churn out problematic and unrecyclable throwaway plastic packaging for their products, these companies are guilty of trashing the planet on a massive scale. It’s time they own up and stop shifting the blame to citizens for their wasteful and polluting products.”

The audits, led by Break Free From Plastic member organizations[1], found that Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé, Danone, Mondelez International, Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Perfetti van Melle, Mars Incorporated, and Colgate-Palmolive were the most frequent multinational brands collected in cleanups, in that order. This ranking of multinational companies included only brands that were found in at least ten of the 42 participating countries. Overall, polystyrene, which is not recyclable in most locations, was the most common type of plastic found, followed closely by PET, a material used in bottles, containers, and other packaging.

The top polluters in Asia, according to the analysis, were Coca-Cola, Perfetti van Melle, and Mondelez International brands. These brands accounted for 30 percent of all branded plastic pollution counted by volunteers across Asia. This year’s brand audits throughout Asia build upon a week-long cleanup and audit at the Philippines’ Freedom Island in 2017, which found Nestlé and Unilever to be the top polluters.

"We pay the price for multinational companies' reliance on cheap throwaway plastic,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia - Philippines Campaigner Abigail Aguilar. “We are the ones forced to clean up their plastic pollution in our streets and waterways. In the Philippines, we can clean entire beaches and the next day they are just as polluted with plastics. Through brand audits, we can name some of the worst polluters and demand that they stop producing plastic to begin with."

In North and South America, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé brands were the top polluters identified, accounting for 64 and 70 percent of all the branded plastic pollution, respectively.

"In Latin America, brand audits put responsibility on the companies that produce useless plastics and the governments that allow corporations to place the burden, from extraction to disposal, in mostly vulnerable and poor communities,” said GAIA Coordinator for Latin America Magdalena Donoso. “BFFP members in Latin America are exposing this crisis  and promoting zero waste strategies in connection with our communities."

In Europe, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Nestlé brands were again the top identified polluters, accounting for 45 percent of the plastic pollution found in the audits there. In Australia, 7-Eleven, Coca-Cola, and McDonald’s brands were the top polluters identified, accounting for 82 percent of the plastic pollution found. And finally, in Africa, ASAS Group, Coca-Cola, and Procter & Gamble brands were the top brands collected, accounting for 74 percent of the plastic pollution there.

“These brand audits are putting responsibility back where it belongs, with the corporations producing endless amounts of plastics that end up in the Indian Ocean,” said Griffins Ochieng, Programmes Coordinator for the Centre for Environment Justice and Development in Kenya. “We held cleanups and brand audits in two locations in Kenya to identify the worst corporate polluters in the region and hold them accountable. It is more urgent than ever, for the sake of communities that rely on the ocean for their livelihoods, health, and well-being, to break free from plastic.”

Break Free From Plastic is calling on corporations to reduce their use of single-use plastic, redesign delivery systems to minimize or eliminate packaging, and take responsibility for the plastic pollution they are pumping into already strained waste management systems and the environment. While the brand audits do not provide a complete picture of companies’ plastic pollution footprints, they are the best indication to date of the worst plastic polluters globally.


For the entire set of results, please find Break Free From Plastic’s brand audit report here:

[1] Break Free From Plastic is a global movement envisioning a future free from plastic pollution. Since its launch in September 2016, nearly 1,300 groups from across the world have joined the movement to demand massive reductions in single-use plastics and to push for lasting solutions to the plastic pollution crisis. These organizations share the common values of environmental protection and social justice, which guide their work at the community level and represent a global, unified vision.

Photo and video:

For photo and video from brand audits around the world, click here:

Zero Waste Cities Collaborative

Solid Waste Management

On October 2, 2018, Citizen consumer and civic Action Group (CAG) is organising a one-day conference titled “Rethinking Urbanisation and the Right to the City” to mark World Habitat Day.

World Habitat Day serves as a reminder for the need to reflect on the state of human settlements and people’s basic right to decent and affordable shelter. Every one of us deserves the opportunity for a better future, and that a decent place to live can remove barriers to opportunity, health and success. Every one also has the right to the city. By 2000, more than half of the world’s population was living in an urban area, and it is forecasted that by 2050, more than two-thirds will be living in cities (UN-HABITAT). According to the UN World Urbanisation Prospects 2018, about 34% of the country’s population lives in urban areas. However, more than one-third of them live in slums with poor access to housing, water and sanitation. Since 2005, there has been an unprecedented mobilisation of central and state funds into the urban areas, much of it directed at improving housing, tenure security, and access to services for the urban poor. Yet, nearly two decades later, it is not clear that these investments have been effective at achieving their stated goals. Large numbers of the urban poor, even in the best performing cities, continue to live without water connections, toilets, and land title At the same time, we have cities challenged with poor waste disposal, shrinking water bodies and degrading ecology.

In this one-day event, we seek to draw attention to the lack of access to basic human rights and interrogate the role of legal and institutional frameworks that preclude many from their right to the city. CAG cordially invites you to spend the day with a wide range of students, architects, urban planners, academicians, journalists, and social and environmental activists. For enquiries, please write to Gayathri Pattnam at



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Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) and Electricity Consumer Network (ECN)

Consumer Protection


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Plus Publications/Cases:
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Electricity Consumer Cells (ECCs) and Electricity Consumer Network (ECN)

Energy Governance

The paper explores the changing ecology, political significance and cultural meaning of water in south India, and presents an account of the centrality of water resources to the organisation of a pre-colonial warrior state in which power and the control of resources were decentralised, and goes on to explore the conflicts and contradictions that emerged within this social system of water use under colonial rule. 

Environment and Climate Change