PURCHASE, N.Y. — PepsiCo, Inc. intends to reduce its use of virgin plastic by 35% by 2025. The new sustainability target builds on the company’s current packaging goals, which include making 100% of its packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.
The plan may reduce up to 2.5 million tonnes of cumulative virgin plastic, PepsiCo said. It 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.
An additional 67 billion plastic bottles will be eliminated in the next five years through the company’s at-home sparkling water brand, SodaStream. PepsiCo acquired the Israel-based company last year as part of its “Beyond the Bottle” initiative, which encompasses ways to deliver beverages without single-use plastic bottles.
“While our efforts are far from done, this is one more step in PepsiCo’s journey toward helping to build a world where plastics need never become waste,” said Ramon Laguarta, president and chairman at PepsiCo. “Even as we work to accelerate business growth, we continue to make important progress toward a circular economy for packaging, a responsibility we take very seriously.”
PepsiCo also said it plans to increase its use of recycled content in its plastic packaging to 25%. It is already one of the world’s largest users of recycled plastic. It is also one of the top corporate plastic polluters, according to an audit conducted by Break Free From Plastic last year.
“We’re intentionally setting ambitious goals to drive meaningful progress,” said Simon Lowden, president of PepsiCo Global Foods and leader of the company’s plastics agenda. “PepsiCo is already one of the world’s largest buyers of recycled plastic, and if there was more available, we’d buy it — and if there were more markets where we could use it, we would. We are committed, and partnership is key.”