PepsiCo Promises To Cut Plastic In 2020
In an attempt to reduce plastic waste, PepsiCo will start selling its Aquafina brand water in aluminum cans by 2020.
According to PepsiCo chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta, the brand has prioritized this as a means of increasing sustainability.
“Tackling plastic waste is one of my top priorities and I take this challenge personally,” he said.
“We are doing our part to address the issue head on by reducing, recycling and reinventing our packaging to make it more sustainable, and we won’t stop until we live in a world where plastics are renewed and reused.”
The brand’s Bubly line of seltzers will also be sold in cans, while its LIFEWTR brand will be moved over to 100% recyclable plastic.
It is estimated that the move will eliminate the need for 8000 tons of “virgin” plastics — those containing no recycled materials — and 11000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions that would otherwise be put into circulation by the brand.
A Step In The Right Direction?
While aluminum is argued to be a better choice than plastic environmentally, its sustainability relies on consumer action — which may fall short.
It’s estimated that only around 55 percent of cans are recycled in the US. This, though allegedly better than plastic recycling margins — a hot topic of debate among the packaging resource sectors — is a statistic central to the sustainability of aluminum use.
To replace the aluminum cans that are not recycled, new materials would have to be mined from sites in Brazil, Guyana, China, Russia and Australia.
Bauxite mines become necessary for the shift in focus to aluminum-heavy products, as companies change from bottles to cans. These mines are known for causing environmental destruction including air, water, and soil pollution, which effects aquatic life and agricultural production.
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