PepsiCo Europe recently announced that by 2030, it plans to eliminate virgin fossil-based plastic in all its crisp and chip bags. This ambition will apply to brands including Walkers, Doritos, and Lay’s and will be delivered by using 100% recycled or renewable plastic in its packets.
This year, consumer trials of the packaging will begin in European markets, beginning with renewable plastic in a Lay’s range in France in the first half of the year.
“Later in the year, a range from the Walkers brand in the UK will trial recycled content. The recycled content in the packs will be derived from previously used plastic and the renewable content will come from by-products of plants such as used cooking oil or waste from paper pulp. PepsiCo estimates it may achieve up to 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction per ton of packaging material by switching to virgin fossil-free material,” according to a recent press release.
About the flexible packaging recycling activity, Silviu Popovici, Chief Executive Officer, PepsiCo Europe, said that it should be the norm across Europe.
“We see a future where our bags will be free of virgin fossil-based plastic. They will be part of a thriving circular economy where flexible packaging is valued and can be recycled as a new packet. We’re investing with our partners to build the technological capacity to do that. We now need an appropriate regulatory landscape in place so that packaging never becomes waste,” Popovici added.
The company uses flexible plastic for its snack packaging – the soft wrapping used to make its crisp and chip bags because it is lightweight compared to alternative packaging and therefore has a low carbon footprint. It is also highly effective at keeping food fresh thereby reducing food waste. However, PepsiCo recognizes that change is needed to reduce the amount of virgin fossil-based plastic that is used and to drive circularity in flexible packaging. PepsiCo Europe will focus its work on three strategic pillars: the right design; the right infrastructure and the right new life for flexible packaging.
Beyond the switch to renewable and recycled content, PepsiCo has developed its “Making Bags Better” program, which will focus on a series of investments and innovations so more flexible plastics will be recycled and reused in Europe.