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BIG BRAND LITTER: RED BULL


Redbull Litter "Red Bull gives you wings." Well, it doesn't give their empty cans wings. The littering of the little red, blue and silver cans is starting to feel like an epidemic. I find myself picking up a large quantity of Red Bull cans, second only in number to Coca-cola cans and bottles. And when I have litter picked an area, a Red Bull can is very often one of the first bits of litter to return. I'm not sure of the reason for this, but their advertising doesn't help. At least two of their witty little cartoons appear to condone littering.




To quantify the degree of Red Bull littering I cycled a 19km route, mostly along Cotswold lanes, and counted and plotted (and picked up) every Red Bull can I saw.

At the end of the exercise I had picked up a total of 54 of them (see picture below) - an average of one every 350m.

The map shows how the cans were distributed right the way round the route.

Personally, I think this is a pretty substantial environmental impact for one brand to be having on the British countryside.

View Larger Map





Is Red Bull four times more likely to be littered than Coke?
Last year Coca-Cola shipped 1,023 million litres of product through its retail channels (Britvic Soft Drinks Report 2008). We don't know how much Red Bull shipped because it was out of the top 9 brands by volume quoted in the report, but we know it was less than 124 million litres, Lets assume it was 100 million for arguments sake. So I'd expect there to be roughly ten times less Red Bull cans than Coke bottles/cans. But in my unscientific sample of 74 drinks container picked up from the A417 in Gloucestershire (see photo at Why we need a Bottle Bill) there were 9 Red Bull Cans to 21 Coke bottles/cans, a ratio of 1:3. Taking into account volume shipped, these figures seem to indicate a Red Bull can is around 4 times more likely to be littered than a Coke/can bottle. , Even allowing for more Coke being shipped in large bottles through supermarkets and Red Bull's smaller can size, there still appears to be a disproportionately high number of Red Bull cans ending up as litter.




Copyright © Tim Barnes 2008