Snack and confectionery company Mondelez International and food and beverage giant PepsiCo have agreed to cut their use of virgin plastic for packaging. This follows an engagement with As You Sow on reducing single-use plastic packaging which contributes to ocean plastic pollution. The move will see Mondelez and PepsiCo increase efforts to eliminate and replace single-use plastics.
“We are pleased to announce agreement by two of the companies we filed proposals with to cut their use of virgin plastic used for packaging,” said Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow. “We look forward to other companies stepping forward to make similar commitments, and making bolder, larger absolute cuts in overall plastic packaging.”
Mondelez set a virgin plastic reduction target for 2025 that will result in a 5 percent absolute reduction in virgin plastic use in overall plastic packaging, including a 25 percent cut in virgin plastic in its rigid plastic packaging. These actions are expected to result in a 10,000 ton reduction of virgin plastic packaging. The targets will be achieved through elimination of plastic material, packaging redesign, increased use of recycled content in flexible and rigid plastics, and exploration of reuse models, according to the company. The company goals will reduce plastic over 2020 baseline usage amounts and will account for projected business growth.
PepsiCo also committed to a time-bound goal for absolute reduction of virgin plastic across its business units but is said to be still assessing the size of the cuts and will announce the goal later in 2021. In 2019, it agreed to reduce virgin plastic content by 35 percent in its beverage portfolio by 2025. The new reduction target will build on this goal and apply to the other company sectors such as snack and foods divisions Frito Lay and Quaker Oats. The cuts will be achieved through a number of levers related to packaging design to eliminate plastic, reuse business models, product innovation, and increased use of recycled content.