Coca Cola, Listen up: We’ve Had a Gut-full of your Rubbish!

As a parent of a teenager, I always feared we’d end up fighting over all the rebellious issues that I struggled with: drugs, going out with questionable characters, getting into fast cars, and an even faster lifestyle. No, we don’t have gun-toting bikies, or men that are far too old for that genuinely sugar-sweet innocence hiding behind her artfully cultivated heavy-metal demeanour. The hot issues in our household: protecting her skin from sunburn, wearing a hat and sunscreen, and, staying up too late doing biology homework! And the big one: whether or not she should be drinking out of plastic bottles. She has food intolerances; I have chemical ones, and scientific evidence suggests the two are interrelated. Hence me turning into the plastic bottle police (PBA anyone?):

I bought her this lovely, heavy-metal (swiss-army-knife brand) looking one from Peters of Kensington’s (Well, one similar anyway; hers has a celtic design on it.):


It’s a battle, and one I’ll win. But there is much more at stake here than PBA, and our health. Our planet’s wildlife, and birdlife are literally chocking on our plastic rubbish. From the ABC’s 7.30 report, take what’s happened on Lord Howe Island for example:

“Boasting pristine beaches, spectacular volcanic peaks and verdant rainforests, it’s also home to the world’s most southern coral reef. And it’s a treasure trove of marine life and sea birds.

But there’s trouble in paradise, although not of the island’s own making.
Despite its isolation, Lord Howe is suffering from the impact of a global problem; plastic pollution.”

The gist of the story is this: Lord Howe Island, only a two hour flight from Sydney, Australia, is home to a diverse range of wildlife and birdlife. It’s an Ornithologist’s paradise. And a bird’s. Recently, researcher Jennifer Lavers dissected one bird where she found more than 200 pieces of plastic in its stomach. These pieces included: parts of rubber balloons [think football carnivals, and children’s birthday parties]; the tops from aerosol cans [chemically sensitive people, I hear you groan]; bits of plastic bottles; and of course, Coca-Cola lids, their bottle’s counterparts broken down into small food-looking bird munchies. As Dr Lavers said: “That’s you or I ingesting somewhere between 10 and 12 kilograms worth of plastic.”’

You can read more about that story, here.

But don’t worry my lovelies, Greenpeace are here, but they need our help:

‘Australians use 14 billion drinks containers every year. Low recycling rates mean bottles, caps and seals end up in landfill, on beaches, in rivers and oceans. Shockingly, this rubbish is estimated to affect up to 85% of Australian seabirds, many mistaking the plastic for food. When they swallow too much, their tiny stomachs become so full they’re unable to ingest any food — literally starving to death on a full stomach.

Coca Cola thinks it can get away with letting this happen to thousands more birds and marine life. Not on our watch. Tell your politicians to urgently drive through a national Cash for Containers scheme, then forward this to everyone.”

Cash for Containers can’t save all animals from suffering the same fate, but it can dramatically decrease the amount of recyclable plastic rubbish in our environment. The benefits are clear:

  • It can drive long-term behavioural change by encouraging rubbish collection in public spaces.
  • Container refunds could earn the community service sector as much as $60 million every year to re-invest into communities.
  • Garbage collection costs across the country would drop.
  • We’d have cleaner beaches and waterways for people and animals.

Opportunities like this are rare. Renewed media and political interest in this court case offers us a chance to air our concerns. We’ve lobbied leaders for this scheme for years with our friends at the Boomerang Alliance, including Clean Up Australia, the Total Environment Centre and more. Today we strung a detailed image of a dead mutton bird across Coca Cola’s front door in North Sydney, plus we’re building pressure through our media contacts. But this won’t be enough: our leaders also need emails directly from you.

At Greenpeace, we’ve taken on big challenges like this before and won. Last week, Tony Burke banned the destructive super trawler – again – from Australian waters. And the week before, Asia Pulp & Paper caved in and committed to stop destroying ancient rainforests. It’s our persistence, passion, and determination that gets things done. Let’s push this campaign over the line and make the national Cash for Containers scheme a reality.”

Coca Cola are a multi-million dollar company; it’s there responsibly to take our concerns on board, and just take care of the situation. You know, corporate responsibility? For our planet’s sake if anything; but if not for that (then from their perspective of the almighty dollar’s worth*) then they should do it for their consumers, whom I’m sure there are many of who care. A lot, actually.

And as Reece, James, Jamie, Tom, Alex, Manny and everyone at Greenpeace Australia Pacific, point out:

“Did you know that over 80 percent of Australians support a national Cash for Containers scheme? That means Coca Cola isn’t just challenging the NT Government — they’re also challenging you and the majority of Australians who want our leaders to do the right thing. Don’t let them get away with it. Send your message today.”

Social media is a powerful tool, and together we are many. Here’s three things you can do:

  1. Share on Facebook
  2. Share on Twitter

“How will messages on Facebook and Twitter help?

Coca-Cola is running a misinformation campaign against the ‘Cash for Containers’ scheme. The company is telling the public – through social media and elsewhere – that the scheme is an expensive and ineffective tax. This is simply untrue.

They’re ignoring the proven facts:

  • ‘Cash for Containers’ is the only scheme globally proven to increase recycling rates. In fact, recycling rates for drink containers in South Australia are almost double those across the rest of the country.
  • It is not a tax. It is a fully refundable deposit.
  • Drink containers – like the ones Coca-Cola use to sell their drinks – make up nearly half of all litter in the environment, as estimated by Clean Up Australia.
  • Container refunds could earn the community service sector as much as $60 million every year to re-invest into communities.

Already tens of thousands of Australians have gotten behind the campaign to protect our wildlife, and keep rubbish out of our oceans and off our beaches.

Don’t swallow Coca-Cola’s garbage: help stamp out the misinformation today.”

3. Or, go directly to the Greenpeace page, here

Click here to visit the Coca-Cola Australia Facebook Page

and leave a message now. But before you do, why not use the image below on your own Facebook profile?”

coke - post

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Take off your bra!

Okay, I’m having a terrible day, all because I drove my daughter to school this morning. (We usually leave at 8.00 am to avoid the traffic but today we were running late and left at 8.20 am, and had to crawl our way through the backstreets, and noxious traffic fumes that stung my eyes and nostrils like the fumes from caustic soda.) And now I’m sitting, writing this, with a nasty headache, my sinuses are pounding out pain from behind my face, and I’m trying not to think about the stupidity of not taking my mask with me.

That reminds me, I  need to add ‘ALWAYS CARRY A SPARE MASK IN THE CAR’ to my tips on ‘How to improve your life when sensitive to chemicals’ on my Maskology page. Then maybe I’ll remember.


Perhaps I wouldn’t have to if I could just whip off my bra (yes, in early morning traffic) and put it over my face.

This bra doubles as a face mask (for two)

Today I’m going to entertain myself (and hopefully, you) by writing a review on a bra. And a mask. It’s a bra that can be used as a mask. Yes, really. Why review this? Because it’s funny, funny in a laughing-hilariously-nearly-peeing-in-my-pants-funny type of way. Every time I read about it!

Because the whole idea of a chemically sensitive person (you know, the wear-a-mask-everywhere-they-go-type of chemically sensitive person) using a bra as a mask just cracks me up.

If you have chemical sensitivities and you have to wear a mask going out, I do hope you enjoy this blog entry. At least a little bit. And if you are a teenager, well you’re going to laugh anyway, but perhaps you’ll stop pointing and laughing at us chemically sensitive people when you spot us in shopping centres wearing masks, just for long enough to consider that IT IS RUDE to ridicule others. Oh, that’s right, (some of) the YouTube generation like to do that. Well, YouTube this (see YouTube below)! It’s just a friggen mask for charlie’s sake; it’s not like I’m out shopping while wearing a bra over my face. Now that would be funny… And weird…

Now, if you are a feminist (grass roots) you’ll like this too—well, the title anyway. By the way, have you ever considered that over 70% of people with chemical sensitivities are women aged between 30 and 50? Ever considered why? Or the fact that the majority of chemical based (fragrance) products are marketed towards the female side of the population? Well, this post is not about that. But do stay tuned by subscribing to this blog!

I don’t mean to make light of the catastrophe of 9/11 or the fall of Baghdad (or any other past, present, or future event with people getting caught in dilapidating buildings) but this mask would only be handy for attempting to survive this type of calamity. Or perhaps, if you’re at work and a newsflash on your Iphone notifies you of a sudden outbreak of SARS, or H1-N1 (swine flu) well then, you’ll have it covered in a nut shell bra-cup.

Okay, now watch Dr. Elena Bodnar, inventor of the Emergency Bra, take of her bra while demonstrating how to deploy it onto a suitably docile theoretical physicist (Think Sheldon from the Big Bang Theory!) at the Martin Wood Lecture Theatre, Oxford University during the IgNobel UK Tour 2010.


Note to non-chemically sensitive people: If you use Linx/Rexonna (or other petro-chemical/solvent laden sprucer upper-er) do not, I repeat, do not take of your bra in an emergency and offer one of your cups to a chemically sensitive person—it’s a really nice offer though! (Depending on their level of sensitivities) they may never make it out of the disaster area and your effort to help them will only suffice in hindering their escape (and even your own). You will be better off  either (1.) putting both masks on your own face, wrapping a towel around their head and carrying them out of the building; (2.) tell them to find their own way out because you sprayed on so many chemicals in the morning that you (obviously) don’t give a hooter’s boob about anyone else’s wellbeing; or (3.) go fragrance free for the good of your fellow man/woman, and yourself by using fragrance free products that don’t come out of an aerosol can and don’t contain artificial fragrance, and then, by all means, whip of your bra for the good of all human-kind…

Do you use a mask? Would you use this in an emergency? If you don’t use a mask, would you consider wearing a bra/mask just in case? If you were in this situation which would you choose option: 1, 2, or 3?


(If you came to this page looking for bras suitable for people with chemical sensitivities—my site statistics show this has been happening—then you could try Blessed Earth (AUS), GAIAM (AUS), The Allergy shop (AUS), Rawganique (US), Cottonfield (US), Blue Canoe (US).)

(If you came to this page looking for actual masks to protect yourself from other people’s personal care products, chemicals, or other allergens, AESSRA (AUS) sell 3M masks, I Can Breathe (US) (AUS) sell masks suitable for light (depending on the individual’s sensitivities) exposures.)

(If you’re interested to see what fragrance free personal care products look like in Australia then click here. For laundry care, here.)

Michellina Van Loder is a Professional Writer, Journalist and Blogger. This is where she shares her tales about trail blazing her way out of the Labyrinth of Chemical Sensitivities and Mould. This is also where you will find the latest Research on related topics.

Information, products and views presented by guest bloggers @The Labyrinth are not necessarily the same as those held by this blog's author, Michellina van Loder. Reviews are my own personal opinions (unless stated otherwise); and satire is used throughout personal posts. Any health topics discussed are not to be taken as medical advice. Seek out medical attention if needed and do your own research; however, you're welcome to use mine as a start.
Translate »