PepsiCo fails to report on new reuse goal while company’s plastic use increases
Oceana calls for PepsiCo and its bottlers to accelerate efforts to meet new goal, embrace reuse models to reduce single-use plastic, and help stop the deluge of plastic overwhelming the oceans
WASHINGTON, Aug. 03, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — PepsiCo kicked the single-use plastic bottle down the road when it failed to quantitatively detail progress towards its new goal to reach 20% reusable beverage packaging in its recently published 2022 sustainability report (its ‘ESG Summary’). Additionally, the company reported a 4% increase in its total plastic use from 2021 to 2022 (from 2.5 to 2.6 million metric tons). PepsiCo also reported that it increased its use of virgin plastic by 11% against a 2020 baseline. PepsiCo did not explain how its reusable goal, dependent in part on newer business models, would reduce the company’s single-use plastic footprint for its existing beverage business.
In March 2022, in response to a shareholder resolution submitted by the non-profit As You Sow, PepsiCo agreed to set a time-bound goal by the end of 2022 to increase reusable beverage packaging to help cut its use of single-use plastic. Then, in December 2022, PepsiCo announced a pledge to increase the percentage of beverage servings delivered through reusable models from 10% to 20% by 2030. However, in the company’s sustainability report published on June 29, more than a year after PepsiCo first committed to increasing reuse, the company stated that it was not reporting on its progress towards this goal because it is “in the process of identifying and validating global servings volume sold by customers in reusable fountain cups and this information is not currently included in our reporting.” PepsiCo “plan[s] to report progress against this goal starting with 2023 data.”
In response to PepsiCo’s recent reporting, Oceana released the following statement from Director of Strategic Initiatives, Dr. Dana Miller:
“PepsiCo needs to stop delaying and start taking its reusable goal seriously. The oceans can’t wait. The surge in the use of single-use plastic packaging by Pepsi and other companies is overwhelming the seas. A report by Oceana found that increasing the market share of refillable bottles by 10% in all coastal countries in place of single-use plastic could keep as many as 7.6 billion plastic bottles per year out of the ocean. It is critical for our oceans that PepsiCo and other major beverage companies increase their use of refillable and reusable containers.
First, the company needs to start reporting on its goal. Second, PepsiCo needs to ensure that its plans to increase sales of SodaStream machines, and its powders and concentrates, will reduce its rapidly growing plastic footprint. If these products do not replace the company’s existing plastic beverage containers, how will they reduce the company’s existing plastic use? Third, and most importantly, PepsiCo and its bottlers need to set goals now for introducing reusable bottles in new markets and increasing sales of reusable bottles where they already exist, including Mexico, Guatemala, Colombia, Chile, Germany, and the Philippines. Oceana is calling on Pepsi’s bottlers in these markets and the company’s largest bottlers including Varun Beverages, Ambev, and Britvic, to take leadership and set targets for increasing their market share of reusable bottles by at least ten percentage points. Brazilian-based Ambev recently introduced reusable packaging for Pepsi in Uruguay, which is a great start, but efforts can’t stop here. There is no reason to delay. The oceans need PepsiCo and its bottlers to transition to reusable bottles immediately.”
PepsiCo’s main rival, The Coca-Cola Company, has a global goal to reach 25% reusable packaging by 2030 (and is currently at 14%). They are also the leading sponsor of the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, which the Mayor of Paris announced would be free from single-use plastic. PepsiCo, along with The Coca-Cola Company, are members of the Business Coalition for a Global Plastics Treaty, which is calling for countries to set binding targets for reusable packaging. The negotiation of the UN agreement is slated for completion by 2024.
Oceana is the largest international advocacy organization dedicated solely to ocean conservation. Oceana is rebuilding abundant and biodiverse oceans by winning science-based policies in countries that control one-quarter of the world’s wild fish catch. With more than 275 victories that stop overfishing, habitat destruction, oil and plastic pollution, and the killing of threatened species like turtles, whales, and sharks, Oceana’s campaigns are delivering results. A restored ocean means that 1 billion people can enjoy a healthy seafood meal, every day, forever. Together, we can save the oceans and help feed the world. Visit Oceana.org to learn more.