PepsiCo to eliminate virgin plastics from crisp packets by 2030

PepsiCo is working to reduce virgin plastic usage by 50% per serving by 2030

PepsiCo has committed to eliminating virgin fossil-based plastics across all of its European brands of crisps and chip bags by 2030. This will apply to well-known brands such as Lay’s, Doritos and Walkers.

Consumer trials of the new packaging will begin later this year. The recycled content in the packs will be derived from previously used plastic and the renewable content will come from by-products of plants such as used cooking oil or waste from paper pulp.

According to PepsiCo, the change in packaging could deliver an emissions reduction of up to 40% per tonne of packaging material.

PepsiCo Europe’s chief executive Silviu Popovici said: “Flexible packaging recycling should be the norm across Europe. We see a future where our bags will be free of virgin fossil-based plastic.

“They will be part of a thriving circular economy where flexible packaging is valued and can be recycled as a new packet. We’re investing with our partners to build technological capacity to do that. We now need an appropriate regulatory landscape in place so that packaging never becomes waste.”

The new packaging forms part of PepsiCo’s Making Bags Better initiative that focuses on improving the recyclability of flexible plastics across Europe.

The new bags will use more plastics that PepsiCo believes are easier to recycle, like Polypropylene. The company claims that the new designers meet guidelines from the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging (CEFLEX).

More broadly, PepsiCo is working to reduce virgin plastic usage by 50% per serving by 2030.

The company was one of the 70+ businesses, including some of the world’s biggest plastic polluters, that called for the UN to implement a global pact that includes reductions in plastic pollution as well as increased recycling.

The businesses, including Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Unilever and Nestle, signed an open letter recommending such a “plastic treaty”. Such targets should apply to virgin plastics only, the letter states. Many of the business signatories in sectors such as FMCG and retail notably have plans to increase their use of recycled plastics.

Matt Mace

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