PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo, Inc. is planning several packaging changes across its water portfolio in an effort to promote a more circular plastics economy and boost recycling rates.
The company’s Lifewtr brand will be packaged in 100% recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET), and its bubly sparkling water brand will no longer be packaged in plastic. Additionally, the Aquafina brand will offer aluminum can packaging in U.S. food service outlets while the company tests the move in retail.
The changes will go into effect next year and are expected to eliminate approximately 8,000 tonnes of virgin plastic and 11,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, the company said.
PepsiCo is looking to build on the success of its Naked Juice brand, which has been working to ensure its bottles are made of 100% recycled PET since 2009. The company said using the recycled plastic in place of virgin plastic has reduced energy use by 25%.
PepsiCo is one of the world’s largest users of food-grade recycled PET. It’s also one of the top corporate plastic polluters, according to an audit conducted by Break Free From Plastic last year. It has been working with suppliers and partners like The Recycling Partnership, Loop Industries, Alliance to End Plastic Waste and the World Economic Forum’s Global Plastic Action Partnership to increase the supply needed to meet its packaging goals and improve the plastic recycling infrastructure.
“Tackling plastic waste is one of my top priorities, and I take this challenge personally,” said Ramon Laguarta, chairman and chief executive officer at PepsiCo. “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.”
The company said its goal is to use 25% recycled plastic content in all its plastic packaging and make 100% of its packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.