PepsiCo is using molded pulp as an alternative to the plastic rings used in their Pepsi brand. This trial is occurring in Sacramento, California.
Over the next four weeks, the molded pulp rings and secondary paperboard packaging are going to be tested on the 7.5oz mini six-packs of Pepsi and Sierra Mist.
The molded pulp rings are not only recyclable but also biodegradable and compostable. This trial is part of PepsiCo’s big packaging plan to become 100 percent recyclable, compostable or biodegradable in order to reduce 35 percent of new plastics in beverage packaging by the year 2025.
According to Food Navigator, Emily Silver, the vice president of innovation and marketing capabilities for PepsiCo Beverages North America said that the functionality, durability and environmental performance of packaging options are being considered now rather than the cost, although that will be a factor that needs to be assessed and identified.
Other than creating a circular future for packaging, PepsiCo has other sustainability goals in mind. These include next-generation agriculture, positive water impact, improved choices across their portfolio, climate change mitigation, and supporting women’s economic advancement, all by 2025.
Furthermore, many consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies are paying close attention to reducing waste. This includes companies such as Nestlé, Danone, Dasani and Mars that are changing their commitments to accelerate sustainability efforts in order to accommodate consumer demands.
Vitafood Insights reports that, “The SSI, published earlier this year, reviewed consumer’s purchasing habits from 2013 to 2018 and found that products marketed as sustainably-packaged experienced 5.6 times faster growth than those that weren’t, across 36 CPG categories.” This means that sustainability claims are key drivers for product sales.
According to Food Dive, Pepsi is trying out their new recyclable rings and paperboard packaging in California because the state passed numerous laws mandating policy changes in order to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills. If the project succeeds then it will be implemented nationwide for its other beverage products too.