Chicago-based snack and confectionery company Mondelez International and food and beverage giant PepsiCo, Harrison, NY, have agreed to reduce their use of virgin plastic in packaging as part of increased efforts to eliminate and replace single-use plastics. This followed on from working with As You Sow, Berkley, California, the nonprofit foundation established to promote corporate responsibility through shareholder interests, coalition building, and legal strategy.
Mondelez has set a virgin plastic reduction target for 2025 that will result in an absolute 5% reduction in virgin plastic use in all plastic packaging, including a 25% reduction in virgin plastic in its hard plastic packaging. It is expected that these measures will lead to a reduction in plastic repackaging by 10,000 tons. The goals will be achieved by eliminating plastic material, redesigning packaging, increasing the use of recycled content in flexible and rigid plastics, and researching reuse models, according to the company. The company’s goals will reduce plastic consumption compared to base consumption in 2020 and take into account projected business growth.
PepsiCo has also committed to a time-bound goal of absolute viral plastic reductions across all of its businesses, but is still reviewing the scope of the cuts and will announce the goal later in 2021. In 2019, PepsiCo agreed to increase the proportion of virgin plastic in its beverage portfolio by 35% by 2025; the new reduction target builds on this target and applies to the other corporate divisions such as the snack and food divisions Frito Lay and Quaker Oats. The cuts will be achieved through a series of levers related to packaging design to eliminate plastic, reuse business models, drive product innovation and increased use of recycled content.