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PepsiCo goes one step further to improve recycling rates across the US

By Jenny Eagle+

02-Aug-2017
Last updated on 02-Aug-2017 at 13:02 GMT2017-08-02T13:02:49Z

PepsiCo has increased efforts to encourage recycling. Picture: PepsiCo.

PepsiCo has increased efforts to encourage recycling. Picture: PepsiCo.

PepsiCo has joined The Recycling Partnership to address a continued shortfall in US recycling rates. 

According to The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) less than half of recyclables in US homes are getting captured; which accounts to 22 million tons out of an available 46 million tons every year.

PepsiCo to redesign its packaging

"To meet our ambitious goals on packaging waste and recovery, we need to find results that work at scale," said Roberta Barbieri, VP, Global Water and Environmental Solutions, PepsiCo.

"This starts with the design of our packaging, and PepsiCo is investing to ensure the materials we use are recoverable or recyclable.

Beyond design, it is vital we boost recycling rates in the United States, which remain too low.”

Barbieri added PepsiCo's work with The Recycling Partnership will lead to investment in local recycling infrastructure and education.

The Recycling Partnership has supported more than 400 local communities, improving curbside recycling for 17 million households, which in turn has led to the recovery of 115 million pounds of material, saving 382 million gallons of water and 164,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases.

PepsiCo has already made significant efforts to cut packaging waste from its snack and beverage products.

In 2015, it removed approximately 100 million pounds of packaging and used 139 million pounds of recycled PET.

The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) findings:

  • Curbside programs are available to 73% of the US population, with 53% of the population having curbside recycling "automatically" provided at their home, while the other 20% has a type of subscription or opt-in recycling program available.
  • For 21% of the population, drop-off recycling programs are the only programs available.
  • Of the portion of the population with a subscription or opt-in curbside recycling program available, about one third are estimated to elect to participate in the program and receive their curbside recycling receptacle.
  • Only 21% of the population is estimated to live in communities providing a uniform curbside collection program to residents of all building types - single-family homes, small multi-family buildings, and large multi-family complexes 

Last year, it announced goals to strive to design 100% of its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025 and to increase packaging recovery and recycling rates.

Danimer Scientific

In March this year it partnered with Danimer Scientific on the development of biodegradable film resins for thin film packaging and in May joined the New Plastics Economy, an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to bring together industry, government, nongovernmental organizations, scientists, students and citizens to build a more sustainable global plastics value chain.

PepsiCo is also a founding member of the Closed Loop Fund, which is investing $100m to raise recycling rates in the US, including improved curbside recycling and materials processing.

"Leading companies understand that the packaging, product and service they deliver must be in alignment with their missions and goals," said Keefe Harrison, CEO, The Recycling Partnership.

"Investing in recycling directly addresses climate change, delivering measurable reductions in greenhouse gases and water use. Moreover, those investments help communities thrive.

Progress is built on commitment across the system, and we are pleased to welcome PepsiCo as a partner."

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