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PepsiCo Advances Circular Economy for Plastics

The company has announced LIFEWTR packaging made with 100 percent recycled plastic and elimination of plastic bottles for bubbly.

PepsiCo Inc. announced that LIFEWTR will be packaged in 100 percent rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), and bubly will no longer be packaged in plastic. The company's AQUAFINA water brand also will offer aluminum can packaging in U.S. foodservice outlets, while the brand tests the move in retail. 

The changes, which all go into effect next year, are expected to eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, representing the latest ambitious steps in the company's sustainability journey and pursuit of a circular economy for plastics. These efforts advance PepsiCo's goals to by 2025 make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable and use 25 percent recycled plastic content in all its plastic packaging.

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"Tackling plastic waste is one of my top priorities, and I take this challenge personally," said PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta in a statement. "As one of the world's leading food and beverage companies, we recognize the significant role PepsiCo can play in helping to change the way society makes, uses and disposes of plastics. 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."

Naked Juice has been working since 2009 to ensure its bottles are made of 100 percent rPET and can be turned into bottles again and again. By making its bottles with rPET, the brand also uses about 25 percent less energy than if it used virgin plastic.

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PepsiCo is one of the largest users of food-grade recycled PET in the world, and the company is also working to help increase the supply needed to meet its packaging goals. In tandem with current suppliers and partners like The Recycling Partnership, Loop Industries, Alliance to End Plastic Waste and World Economic Forum's Global Plastic Action Partnership, PepsiCo is aiming to both increase recycling rates and improve the plastic recycling infrastructure.

"We are really excited to evolve our packaging across PepsiCo's water portfolio to make a positive impact," said Stacy Taffet, vice president of water portfolio for PepsiCo, in a statement. "We created LIFEWTR to be an inspirational and purpose-driven brand, and we're expanding that vision by using recycled packaging to deliver our premium water. At the same time, bubly, our sparkling water brand that is full of flavor and personality, has already shaken up the sparkling water category and will continue to do so with this bold move."

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