Families all over the country are waiting for the day they will be able to see the big Coca Cola Christmas truck in their area.

But a waste and recycling company has blasted the annual event as "one of the stupidest Christmas traditions" and believes the big red lorry seen in TV adverts should be banned.

BusinessWaste.co.uk has argued the beverages company is doing the world more harm than good by driving its lorry more than 3,000 miles up and down the country for no clear purpose.

The 40-tonne Scania lorry will use as much as 287 gallons (1,305 litres) of diesel fuel, the waste company claims. At current fuel prices (£1.31 per litre), that is £1,709 - about the same that an average family will spend on fuel annually.

It said even Santa spends less on fuel for his sleigh every year, which is one carrot per reindeer.

Watford Observer:

Many families cannot wait to see the Coca Cola truck in their area. Photo: Holly Cant

Coca Cola is promoting its global World Without Waste pledge where 10p will be given to homeless charity Crisis for every bottle or can dropped into its recycling bins during the tour. BusinessWaste.co.uk says that while the motivation is honourable, the fizzy drinks company does not consider the environmental impact of the tour.

Spokesperson Mark Hall said: "Those fizzy pop guys night have invented the red-suited Santa, but they've ruined Christmas."

He continued: "The fact is, they're driving lorries over 3,000 miles up and down the country, then up and down the country, then up and down the country one final time on completely unnecessary journeys, with zero route planning.

"That's the same as driving from London to Moscow – and back again!

"That doesn't look good, no matter which way you look at it. All so you can queue in the winter cold and have your photograph taken with a lorry!"

Coca Cola - which has been named by Break Free From Plastic as the world's largest plastic polluter - is also pledging to collect and recycle a bottle or can for every one they sell by the year 2030.

But BusinessWaste.co.uk is asking why the company does not just make a flagship donation to the charity anyway. It said the fuel cost of the tour alone could cover shelter and meals for 60 homeless people this Christmas.

Mr Hall added: "On top of everything, we're not sure that a 'tradition' based on a television advert is really a tradition, either. Who gets drawn into made-up TV advert things anyway?"

Two years ago, Public Health England said Christmas tours to advertise sugary products to children does nothing to combat tooth decay and obesity issues.

Last year, the tour was scaled back after protests from public health campaigners.

Coca Cola has been contacted for comment.