Bill Nye the Science Guy has been accused of “selling out” to Coca-Cola by “greenwashing” its problematic track record of dumping plastic, according to a climate change reporter.
Nye, the host of popular science-themed television programs including “Bill Nye The Science Guy,” is teaming up with the Atlanta-based soft drink giant to tout the company’s “world without waste” campaign, according to the tech news site Gizmodo.
In a video titled “The Coca-Cola Company and Bill Nye Demystify Recycling,” Nye appears as a puppet-like figure whose head is made out of a plastic bottle. His signature bow tie bears the famous Coca-Cola logo.
In the promotional clip, Nye describes how “the good people at the Coca-Cola Company are dedicating themselves to addressing our global plastic waste problem.”
He then goes into detail about the company’s plans to use mostly recycled materials to create bottles for its drinks as well as its commitment to clean up the environment.
“If we can recover and recycle plastic, we can not only keep it from becoming trash, but we can use that plastic again and again — it’s an amazing material,” Nye said in the video.
“What’s more, when we use recycled material, we also reduce our carbon footprint. What’s not to love?”
Molly Taft, the reporter who wrote the Gizmodo article, blasted “Shill Nye the Plastic Guy” for partnering with Coca-Cola, which “has been named one of the most polluting brands in the world by multiple different audits.”
She accuses Coca-Cola of mass-producing cheap, single-use plastic that is mostly not recycled and ends up in landfills and incinerators.
Climate scientists say that the production and incineration of plastic adds significant amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
By emphasizing the need to recycle, Taft says that Nye is helping Coca-Cola put the onus on the consumer rather than on the company, which reportedly produces around 3.3 million tons of plastic packaging per year.
She wrote that partnering with Nye is “part of the company’s strategy to publicly cut ties with the oil industry while continuing to use oil products.”
The Post has reached out to both Nye and Coca-Cola seeking comment.
“If Coca-Cola was serious about a ‘world without waste,’ as Nye says in the video, it would be innovating ways to sell products that use no plastic at all,” Taft wrote.
“And if Nye wants to really galvanize people on climate change, maybe he shouldn’t do promotional videos for one of the oil and gas industry’s most dedicated customers.”