Greenpeace’s new ‘Coca-Cola’ Clip, Dead Birds, and the Bystander Effect

On the eve of Coca-Cola Amatil’s AGM, Greenpeace has launched a television advertisement skewering the beverage giant’s efforts to sabotage a national ‘Cash for Containers’ scheme: the ‘Stop Coca-Cola trashing Australia’, YouTube clip plays on Coke’s use of happy youths sipping Coca-Cola to the back drop of popular music in its marketing. But suddenly birds start dropping out of the sky, littering the previously scenic beach.

First, a seagull lands on the sand. Literally. Plop. One Dead Bird. And what do the people do? They run away. Jogging. (A metaphor for the inaction of some people and corporations in our country.) A second bird falls from the sky—after ingesting plastic that came from a Coca-Cola Bottle—going ‘splat’ onto the pavement. Here, the people just ride on by. In real life they may think to themselves, Oh, this is ain’t our responsibly. Or perhaps, they say to each other, “Someone else will help them.”. These ‘just too busy’ people are riding metaphors depicting many of today’s society, in general. A perfect example of ‘Coca-Cola and the Bystander Effect’! Watch and see:

The shore ground is littered with dead birds and Coca-Cola bottles, and lids. It’s the lids that break down into sharp fragments of plastic, causing internal damage to their stomachs. Science has proven it:

At night, in the dense forest of Lowd Howe Island, Mutton birds land and dig burrows, ready for hatching their young into. These burrows are two or three metres long. They make a little nest chamber at the end, and, in January, each year, one of the birds is down there sitting on the egg, while the other one of the couple is out at sea feeding and they swap over every few days. (See, even birds have equal rights. Naturally.)

Often, the adults flying over the ocean pick up the plastic, swallow it, and bring it back to their chicks, where they feed it to them. Sometimes the chicks, if they are fed too much plastic, die an awful death, down at the end of the burrow. If they come out in April to fly away and they haven’t been given too much they can cough it up.

Here, Jennifer Lavers opens up the dead birds stomachs, along with Tracey Bowden, presenter on the ABC’s 7.30 Report, only to show her, and us, many pieces of plastic. Too many. Some of these are from the bright red, Coca-Cola plastic lids. It’s criminal! Most of the other pieces are from balloons, probably from the parties where people drink the Coca-Cola. If anyone can watch this and not feel the least bit sick, then at least look at the situation objectively: don’t be a part of this phenomenon, Dead Birds and the bystander effect.

(Can you hear that Coca-Cola? DON’T be a part of the phenomenon Birds: and the bystander effect. I posted my last post, on this matter, onto your Facebook page and I told you: Dear Coca-Cola, I will never drink your product again unless you do the right thing with the cash for containers scheme—yet, obviously having read my post, you failed to reply here, on my blog—and you said, to me, ‘some corporate rubbish backchat’ on your FB page. Back then, I thought: ‘I will not consort with you on Facebook, thus upping your free advertising revenue.’ But you know what? Not all publicity is good publicity, so take this Coca-Cola!)

Look peeps, one bird was found with  274 pieces of plastic in its stomach: that is the equivalent of a human carrying 12 kilograms of plastic in their stomach. So that’s 15 per cent of the body weight of that chick! Or, it was.

The new Greenpeace ‘Coca-Cola’ Commercial is brilliant. Not only are they tackling Coke’s corporate arrogance, they artfully show us, again, that not only are Plastic Bottles Trashing our Wildlife, but as Reece Turner, senior campaigner at Greenpeace Australia Pacific said:

“Behind Coke’s slogans and sunshine, the beverage giant is trashing Australia.”

The crowd-funded ad also seeks to encourage Australians to tell State Premiers to stand up for the environment by supporting a national ‘cash for containers’ scheme.

“Coke’s efforts to crush this scheme are brazen and damaging to the environment.  State premiers must stand up to Coke’s bullying by making their support for an effective ‘cash for containers’ scheme loud and clear.”

“With the support of Australians who want to see the health of our waterways and wildlife put ahead of corporate arrogance, we aim to get this advertisement on television screens across the country.”

Coke have been caught red-handed by Greenpeace, spreading mistruths in an effort to stop governments adopting a national 10 cent Cash for Containers program.

As someone recently pointed out to me, just that 10 cents for each container picked up and handed in, could go to helping homeless people to help themselves. Not that I’d like to see people, who have it difficult enough already, picking up Australia’s rubbish, but it’s certainly there, and if they can earn money picking it up, “Why the hell not?,” I say. But Coke say this would ‘cost consumers a fortune’ and threaten kerbside recycling jobs. When the truth is, this program would create jobs in the recycling industry, and help homeless people, and could potentially operate at nil cost.

If Greenpeace and its supporters (you and me) could get Barry O’Farrell to get on board with the Cash for Containers, it will start a domino effect that Coke will be unable to stop: last week Greenpeace presented their almost 70,000 strong petition at his office. Now, their strategy is this: they plan to run this add in the middle of his favourite team’s, the West’s Tigers, football game.

More from Ben Pearson, Program Director, Greenpeace Australia:

“We know that Coca-Cola is one of the biggest advertisers in the world—and with deep corporate pockets—we’re under no illusion they’ll outspend us. But if we act together, our movement is more powerful than they can imagine. Shareholders at tomorrow’s AGM will want to know why Coke’s executives are ruining the company’s image by crushing a national Cash for Containers scheme. If each of us contribute right now, we can take our message even further by airing it directly into the living rooms of millions more Australians.

Click here to chip in to air this add on Friday Night

We’re winning this campaign. Just look at the successes we’ve seen in the last few months. The recycling program is now back up and running (for now) in the Northern Territory, and Premiers of Tasmania and Victoria have come out to publicly back the scheme. Now all state environment ministers have pledged to urgently decide on the issue.”

If you are a Greenpeace supporter, you’re probably not the one who needs to see this ad. It will be aired during prime time television, taking the message to millions of viewers where Coke thinks it owns the debate. It’s the perfect way to counter Coca-Cola’s evil corporate deception of the public, thus contributing to the destruction of our birdlife.

If you’d like to contribute to click here.

Are you a part of the phenomenon, Dead Birds: and the Bystander Effect? Coca-Cola is!


Bought to you by Coca-Cola

(Image attribution: Greenpeace)

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.

About Michellina van Loder


  1. Coca-cola is one of the WORST PRODUCTS YOU CAN PUT INSIDE OF YOUR OWN BODY (REGULAR OR DIET)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Let alone any thing else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Michellina Van Loder says:

      I know. I used to wake up and drink it everyday. That and a cigarette! It clears the throat of all that congestion that builds up from smoking Marlboro Reds. It works like drain cleaner! (If I could go back in time. I would never drink coke! Or smoke. Or wear fragrance. Oh, such a wasted youth…

      The perfect alternative is Perrier mineral water with coconut water. Or if feeling really naughty, just add some Maple syrup. It tastes like creamy soda. What’s your alternative?


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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.
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