PepsiCo to Combat Plastic Waste by Reducing Virgin Plastic

As part of its efforts to combat plastic waste, PepsiCo announced on Wednesday its plans to expand its SodaStream sparkling-water business and to begin reducing virgin plastic, Reuters reports.

The Pepsi and Lays maker launched the effort under its new “pep+” initiative aimed to cut the company’s use of virgin plastic per serving in half by 2030 across its snack, soda, chips and oatmeal products.

The initiative also envisages using 50% of recycled material in all plastic packaging.

Due to the amount of single-use plastic waste they generate, PepsiCo and Coca-Cola has emerged as new targets for global activism with Greenpeace report showing that PepsiCo uses nearly 2.3 million metric tonnes of plastic annually.

PepsiCo Chief Executive Ramon Laguarta stressed that while recycled plastic is part of the company’s solution, it’s also creating a whole new model with SodaStream sparkling-water which, if it’s successful in getting into more markets globally, will enable Pepsi to cut the use of over 200 billion plastic bottles by 2030.

PepsiCo acquired the SodaStream in 2018. The company produces machines and refillable cylinders enabling users to make their own soda or carbonated water drinks at home.

Laguarta emphasized that SodaStream project – already present in 40 countries- is essential to PepsiCo’s growth strategy in beverages and includes introducing bringing new flavors into 23 new markets as well as introducing new SodaStream Professional platform by 2022 in 10 additional markets aimed at businesses.

Late last year, PepsiCo has committed to eliminate all virgin plastic from its Pepsi brand beverage bottles sold in nine EU markets by 2022 by packaging the entire range of beverages with plastics recycled from post- consumer packaging (recycled polyethylene terephthalate, or ‘rPET’).

According to the company’s estimates, ots move to 100% rPET for these beverage bottles will eliminate over 70,000 tonnes of virgin, fossil-fuel based plastic per year, and decrease by approximately 40% the carbon emissions per bottle.

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