PepsiCo Cuts Back on Virgin Plastic

Research shows that consumers are more likely to give their loyalty to brands that they perceive as engaged with social causes. With single-use plastics (mostly straws) receiving a great deal of media attention lately, it’s time brands consider reducing or eliminating their use to appeal to today’s consumer. PepsiCo has done just that.
The brand has announced that LIFEWTR will be packaged in 100 percent rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), and Bubly will no longer be packaged in plastic. The company’s Aquafina water brand will also offer aluminum can packaging in US food service outlets, while the brand tests the move in retail. 
The changes, which all go into effect next year, are expected to eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, representing the latest steps in the company’s sustainability journey and pursuit of a circular economy for plastics. They reinforce and advance PepsiCo’s goals to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable by 2025 and use 25 percent recycled plastic content in all its plastic packaging.
“Tackling plastic waste is one of my top priorities and I take this challenge personally,” says PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta. “As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, we recognize the significant role PepsiCo can play in helping to change the way society makes, uses, and disposes of plastics. We are doing our part to address the issue head on by reducing, recycling, and reinventing our packaging to make it more sustainable, and we won’t stop until we live in a world where plastics are renewed and reused.”
Naked Juice has been working since 2009 to ensure its bottles are made of 100 percent rPET and can be turned into bottles again and again. By making its bottles with rPET, the brand also uses about 25 percent less energy than if it used virgin plastic.
The company is also working to help reliably increase the supply needed to meet its packaging goals. In tandem with current suppliers and partners like The Recycling Partnership, Loop Industries, Alliance to End Plastic Waste, and World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership (GPAP), PepsiCo is aiming to both increase recycling rates and improve the plastic recycling infrastructure.
“We are really excited to evolve our packaging across PepsiCo’s water portfolio to make a positive impact,” says Stacy Taffet, Vice President, Water Portfolio, PepsiCo.  “We created LIFEWTR to be an inspirational and purpose-driven brand, and we’re expanding that vision by using recycled packaging to deliver our premium water.  At the same time, Bubly, our sparkling water brand that is full of flavor and personality, has already shaken up the sparkling water category and will continue to do so with this bold move.”

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