Taking on Big Plastic

Bill McDonald/Algalita Foundation


Earth Island Institute filed the first major lawsuit of its kind against Crystal Geyser Water Company; The Clorox Company; The Coca-Cola Company; PepsiCo, Inc.; Nestlé USA, Inc.; Mars, Incorporated; Danone North America; Mondelez Global LLC; Colgate-Palmolive Company; and The Procter & Gamble Company for polluting our waterways, coasts, and oceans with millions of tons of plastic packaging. The lawsuit was filed in California State Superior Court in the County of San Mateo alleging violations of the California Consumers Legal Remedies Act, public nuisance, breach of express warranty, defective product liability, negligence, and failure to warn of the harms caused by their plastic packaging. Through this lawsuit, Earth Island is seeking, among other things, to recover the significant resources it expends to prevent and mitigate the effects of plastic pollution on humans, wildlife, oceans, and waterways in California, where the impacts are particularly acute.

Significant Developments

October 4, 2023: Press Release 

Earth Island Adds Unfair Competition Claim in Plastic Pollution Lawsuit

October 2, 2023: Case Update

Earth Island Institute files first amended complaint in California State Superior Court in the County of San Mateo

June 6, 2022: Press Release

Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Major Consumer Goods Companies Must Face Plastic Pollution Lawsuit Brought by Environmental Group in California

June 2, 2022: Case Update

California state court denies specially appearing defendants' motion to quash summons and dismiss case for lack of personal jurisdiction

March 20, 2021: In the News - Courthouse News

California Green Group Trying to Make Big Plastic Pay for Scourge of Pollution

February 23, 2021: Press Release

Environmental Group Wins Key Step in Battle Against Big Plastic

February 23, 2021: Case Update

Federal district court grants Earth Island's motion to remand case back to California state court.

August 5, 2020: In the News - KALW

Once Case at a Time, Lawyers Fight to Save the Planet

May 6, 2020: Press Release

Earth Island Institute argues for keeping plastic pollution case in California state court

March 6, 2020: In the News - Fast Company

Disposable plastic is bad for the environment, but is it illegal? Coca-Cola and Pepsi are about to find out

Febuarary 28, 2020: In the News - Vice

Coke and Pepsi Are Getting Sued for Lying about Recycling

February 26, 2020: In the News - Los Angeles Times

Lawsuit in California targets plastics pollution from Coca-Cola, Pepsi and other companies

February 26, 2020: In the News - Earth Island Journal

Earth Island Sues 10 Companies, Including Coke, Pepsi, and Nestle, Over Plastic Use

February 26, 2020: In the News - San Francisco Chronicle

Bay Area group sues Coke, Pepsi, other giants over plastic pollution ‘poisoning everything’

February 26, 2020: Press Release

Earth Island Institute Takes on Big Plastic

February 26, 2020: Case Update

Complaint filed in California State Superior Court in the County of San Mateo against major food, beverage, and consumer goods companies alleging claims under tort and the California Consumer Remedies Act.


Plastic Pollution Coalition

Shark Stewards

International Marine Mammal Project

1000 Fountains

Legal Team

Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy

Focus Area

Pollution and Toxics