Shame!... For whom? says SodaStream

PET plastic bottles

Shame!… For whom?

Sir, Plastic bottle pollution is killing our planet. That’s a fact. But it was SodaStream that was in the spotlight last week for a ruling by the ASA in relation to the Shame or Glory campaign. This was a targeted ad campaign that used a touch of shock marketing to draw attention to a global crisis. The ad was intended to spark a much needed discussion. Instead the brand is criticised for ‘offensive language’.

When the primary complainant is the Bottled Water Association, cleverly renamed the Natural Hydration Council, alarm bells should ring. Because who is leading the fight against the plastic bottle pollution that is putting our planet under such strain? Of course, it’s not the Natural Hydration Council members, because that reads like a who’s who of leading single-use water bottle manufacturers: Nestlé, Highland Spring, Danone.

As a responsible brand we wholly believe that the UK consumer deserves the right to know the truth, and sometimes we have to shock a little in order to cut through the clutter and deliver that.

Sumen Rannie, commercial director, SodaStream UK

Yes, plant-based is best

Sir, Contrary to the claims made in ‘Is plant-based always best?’ (Joanna Blythman’s Second Opinion, 22 April, p23), the evidence is largely in favour of plant-based diets. Animal agriculture creates more greenhouse gas emissions than all global transport while a vegan diet requires about one third of the amount of land and water it takes to produce an animal-based diet because farmed animals eat much more protein than they produce. Balanced vegan diets can protect against several cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, strokes and arthritis.

Almost half of young people in the UK avoid ‘scary dairy’ as they learn about the animal suffering involved - and question whether they should drink a mixture of hormones and growth factors. With 542,000 vegans in Britain and vegan food sales up by 1,500% last year, the vegan tide shows no signs of slowing down.

Dominika Piasecka, The Vegan Society

Can pigswill fight waste?

Sir, I am very concerned about food waste and old enough to remember a solution that could be carefully restored. Pigs used to be fed swill and the resulting pork tasted lovely. Tight hygiene regulations are needed, however, and this will affect costs and practicality. Careful hygiene is paramount but such things are worth a try.

Graham Lund

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