Beyond the Bottle: Another Company Cuts Plastic Packaging

Pepsi will start putting water in aluminum cans instead of plastic bottles.

"I take this challenge personally," said PepsiCo's CEO in announcing that Pepsi company will start using more sustainable packaging for their water brands as soon as 2020.

The challenge Ramon Laguarta is talking about is reducing the amount of plastics the company uses in their beverage business. As the popularity of bottled water has skyrocketed, so has the environmental problem created by plastic waste the bottles create.

Starting next year, their LIFEWTR product will be bottled in containers made of 100% rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate), while their Aquafina and Bubly sparkling water brands will soon be sold in aluminum cans in US food service outlets. Pepsi is testing whether to make the switch to cans in retail stores.

Pepsi testing its water brands in cans before deciding whether to roll them out to the whole retail market.

The changes are expected to eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions. It moves Pepsi toward their 2025 goal of making 100% of the company's packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable and using 25% recycled plastic content in all its plastic packaging. The EPA says while only a third of plastic beverage containers are recycled, more than half of aluminum cans are recycled .

The EPA says people recycle beverage cans more than plastic bottles.

"We won't stop until we live in a world where plastics are renewed and reused." - PepsiCo CEO

Pepsi joins the growing wave of companies trying to cut back on or completely eliminate everything from plastic bags to single use plastic bottles and plastic straws .

The debate is far from over. Marketwatch quotes critics as pointing out that these moves are a drop in the bucket when it comes to eliminating plastic waste, and that making cans consumes resources and creates waste too .

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