PepsiCo is committing to eliminate all virgin plastic from its Pepsi brandbeverage bottles sold in nine European Union markets by 2022. The company will package the entire range of beverages under that brand with plastics recycled from post-consumer packaging (recycled polyethylene terephthalate, or ‘rPET’).
The company estimates that the move to 100 percent rPET for these beverage bottles will eliminate over 70,000 tonnes of virgin, fossil-fuel based plastic per year, and will lower carbon emissions per bottle by approximately 40 percent. In 2018, the company had announced that it would get to 50 % rPET usage across the EU by 2030 and has already reached 30 %. This announcement marks significant acceleration toward reaching this goal.
Technological innovations in the use of recycled plastics in carbonated drink bottles, improvements in the appearance of recycled plastic, and greater availability of recycled materials on the market have made it possible for the company to accelerate its progress.
Germany, Poland, Romania, Greece and Spain will switch to 100% rPET in 2021, while France, Great Britain, Belgium and Luxembourg will be at 100% rPET in 2022. The move applies to both company-owned and franchise bottlers in the relevant markets. In France, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium and Luxembourg the commitment goes beyond Pepsi brands, to include all soft drinks.