We share concern over the growing threat that plastic packaging waste poses to our environment. Packaging helps make safe, high-quality products accessible to all. It extends shelf life and helps to limit food waste. But for it to have a role in a more sustainable food system we must eliminate packaging waste.
As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies we recognise the significant role we can play in helping to change the way society makes, uses, and disposes of plastics, and we are helping to make sustainable plastics a reality.
Progress will be driven by the increased supply and use of recycled content and alternative packaging materials. Across PepsiCo’s business and our brands we’ve made it a business imperative to help build a circular future for packaging and a world where plastics need never become waste.
Our sustainable plastics vision is rooted in three pillars: Reducing the amount of plastics we use; Recycling the plastics we bring to market; and Reinventing our plastic packaging. We recognise that tackling plastic waste is not a challenge any one organisation or country can do alone, so we are continuing to play a lead role in changing the way everyone uses plastics, through partnerships with like-minded organisations including our work with Wrap on the UK Plastics Pact.
How We're Achieving This in the UK
Reducing our packaging
In recent years, we have reduced the amount of plastic used in our multipack packaging by an average of 30% for many of our most popular products, including Walkers, Quavers, Monster Munch and Wotsits.
using more recycled plastic
All our ready-to-drink beverage bottles in Great Britain will be made from 100% recycled plastic by the end of 2022. Both Tropicana Lean and the entire Naked smoothies brand are already available in 100% recycled plastic bottles.
Efficiently designing our bottles
We strive to design all packaging with the most efficient use of materials. Over the last decade, we have been leaders in significantly, reducing the amount of plastic (polyethylene terephthalate, known as PET) in many of our beverage. We continue to innovate to find ways to reduce the volume of plastics required in our bottles, and their total carbon impact, without sacrificing packaging performance.
Developing the packaging of the future
We have a Global team of packaging engineers who are developing new types of packaging including more easily recyclable, biodegradable or compostable materials.
Going Beyond the Bottle
We are working to create drink options that go Beyond the Bottle. In 2018, we welcomed SodaStream into the PepsiCo family - the largest sparkling water brand in the world by volume.
Sustainability is at the core of the SodaStream brand. Its unique product range enables consumers to create customised beverages at home using reusable bottles. We have ambitious growth plans for SodaStream.
Making Products Sustainable from the Start
Through our Sustainable from the Start programme we’re putting sustainability at the heart of our entire innovation process. This program enables all teams involved in product development, from concept to launch, to consider the environmental impacts of their decisions. Each new product we develop will be designed with carbon, water and packaging impacts in mind and we have created new tools that can estimate the environmental footprint of a product under development and then compare them to benchmarks. Over time these insights will help us make smart decisions from start to finish.
Recycling crisp packets
Walkers’ Crisp Packet Recycling Scheme was the UK’s first scheme for crisp packet recycling. More than 90% of UK households are within six miles of a public collection point.
Packets have been recycled into items with a long lifespan, including building materials and outdoor furniture. In the meantime, we’re working to make our crisp packets more easily recyclable. Across our business, we’re working towards building a circular future for our packaging with the development of sustainable packaging materials. Learn more.
Recycling drinks containers
All of our bottles are 100% recyclable and can be put in kerbside recycling making it easy for consumers to responsibly dispose of them.
We are committed to working with our peers to support a well-designed, industry-led, not-for-profit Deposit Return Scheme for drinks containers in the UK. We have ambitious targets to increase the use of rPET across our beverage portfolio. You can read more about our goals here.
With a busy calendar of brand activations at live entertainment events, we are working to nudge consumers towards behavioural change in their recycling habits though the power of our brands at sports fixtures and music concerts.
Questions about plastic, answered
PepsiCo is a signatory of Wrap's UK Plastics Pact, a collaborative initiative working towards building a circular economy for plastics. It brings together businesses from across the entire plastics value chain with UK governments and NGOs to tackle the challenge posed by plastic waste.
PepsiCo is an investor in the Alliance to End Plastic Waste, a non-profit organisation partnering with the finance community, government and civil society that has raised $1.5 billion to bring new ideas to end plastic waste.
The New Plastics Economy works to move towards a 70% recycling rate for all plastic packaging. Led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation it brings together industry, government, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), scientists and students with the goal of building a more sustainable approach to plastics.
In collaboration with other consumer good companies, PepsiCo is part of the Loop initiative. A trial site in Paris offers people the ability to purchase products from major brands in durable packaging designed for reuse.
This collaborative working group of companies and associations is involved in flexible packaging with the mission to integrate flexible packaging into the circular economy through system redesign.