Food and beverage giant PepsiCo Inc. is moving toward its goal of having all of its plastics packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025.
"We envision a world where plastics never become waste," Rob Cotton, food packaging R&D director, said during the recent 2020 Global Plastics Summit.
PepsiCo also wants to increase its use of recycled content in plastics packaging by 25 percent. Cotton described the firm's approach as "reduce, recycle and reinvent."
PepsiCo is designing 100 percent recyclable packaging and is investing in recycling infrastructure and consumer education. The firm also is working with renewable bioplastics.
Another PepsiCo development is a third-generation compostable bag that uses polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) bioplastic. Cotton said the firm is using PHA because it will biodegrade in more environments than polylactic acid (PLA), another bioplastic.
"We want to design packaging to fit into recycling infrastructure," he added. "Right now, there's very little flexible packaging recycling going on in the world.
"The public wants us to face the problem and not make it someone else's problem," he said.
Other plastics-related PepsiCo actions announced late last year include:
• PepsiCo's premium water brand Lifewtr will be packaged in 100 percent recycled PET in the U.S.
• In select locations across Latin America and Asia, brands like Pepsi and 7UP will be offered to consumers in refillable plastic and glass bottles.
• In Western Europe, Tropicana juices have been relaunched using 50 percent recycled PET bottles.
PepsiCo posted sales of more than $67 billion in 2019. Its global food and beverage portfolio includes Frito-Lay, Gatorade, Pepsi-Cola, Quaker and Tropicana. PepsiCo's product mix includes 23 brands that generate more than $1 billion each in estimated annual retail sales.