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Oceana Comments On PepsiCo Plastic Reduction

PepsiCo, Inc. has announced a new target to reduce 35% of virgin plastic content across its beverage portfolio by 2025, which equates to the elimination of 2.5m metric tons of cumulative virgin plastic. Progress will be driven by the company’s increased use of recycled content and alternative packaging materials for its beverage brands, including LIFEWTR, bubly and Aquafina.

Additionally, through the expansion of PepsiCo’s SodaStream business, an estimated 67bn plastic bottles will be avoided through 2025. These targets advance PepsiCo’s sustainable packaging vision and reinforce its ‘Beyond the Bottle’ strategy which, in addition to SodaStream, includes the mobile-enabled Hydration Platform and other offerings that deliver beverages without single-use plastic bottles.

The announcement builds upon the company’s already announced packaging goals to, by 2025: make 100% of its packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable; increase its use of recycled content in plastics packaging to 25%.

Examples of PepsiCo’s progress in sustainable packaging include:

  • PepsiCo’s premium water brand LIFEWTR will be packaged in 100% rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) in the U.S., as the company’s Naked Juice brand currently is, and bubly will no longer be packaged in plastic, starting in 2020.
  • Aquafina will begin offering aluminum can packaging in U.S. foodservice outlets, while the brand tests the move in retail, starting in 2020.
  • In select locations across Latin America and Asia, brands like Pepsi, 7UP and Mirinda offer consumers refillable plastic and glass bottles.
  • In Western Europe, Tropicana relaunched using 50% rPET bottles and aims to reach 100% rPET by 2025.

The targets announced are based off a 2018 baseline. In 2018, PepsiCo’s total virgin plastic volume use was 2.2m metric tons. Click here for more information on PepsiCo’s packaging goals and progress.

Oceana’s chief policy officer Jacqueline Savitz commented, The only way to deal with the burgeoning plastics crisis is to use less plastic, and PepsiCo is well-positioned to do just that using its SodaStream model as one alternative method of delivering its beverages, including Pepsi itself. Fountain sodas can be expanded, there is a lot PepsiCo could do. We look forward to learning more about their approach.

“The key will be a clear plan showing an actual percent reduction in total plastic use. Using fewer bottles is a good start, and we hope the company will make good on this commitment, and that other companies will follow.

“Given the projected increases in plastic production, the only way to protect our oceans from plastics is to reduce the use, starting with single-use items, and beverage bottles are among the most common items found on beaches.”

Click here for Oceana’s fact sheet on the plastics crisis.

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