PepsiCo's collaboration with The Recycling Partnership will address the continued shortfall in US recycling rates. Currently, still less than half of recyclables in US homes are getting captured; just 22 million tons out of an available 46 million tons every year.
The Recycling Partnership has already directly assisted more than 400 local communities, improving curbside recycling for 17 million households. This work has resulted in the recovery of 115 million pounds of material, and savings of 382 million gallons of water and 164,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases. Each new funder expands The Partnership's reach to improve recycling through local and national work.
PepsiCo has already made significant efforts to cut packaging waste from its snack and beverage products. In 2015 alone, it removed approximately 100 million pounds of packaging and used 139 million pounds of recycled PET. Last year, PepsiCo announced new goals to strive to design 100% of its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable by 2025, and to partner to increase packaging recovery and recycling rates.
"To meet our ambitious new goals on packaging waste and recovery, we need to find solutions that work at scale," says Roberta Barbieri, vice president, Global Water and Environmental Solutions at PepsiCo. "This starts with the design of our packaging, and PepsiCo is investing to ensure the materials we use are recoverable or recyclable. Beyond design, it is vital that we boost recycling rates in the United States, which remain too low. PepsiCo's work with The Recycling Partnership will enable well-informed, collective investment in local recycling infrastructure and education, and drive real environmental benefits in our communities."
The tie-up with The Recycling Partnership is the latest in a series of collaborations that PepsiCo is undertaking to tackle packaging waste. PepsiCo announced in March 2017 an agreement with biotechnology leader Danimer Scientific on the development of biodegradable film resins for thin film packaging.
PepsiCo announced in May 2017 that it has joined the New Plastics Economy, an initiative led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation to bring together industry, government, non-governmental organizations, scientists, students and citizens to build a more sustainable global plastics value chain.
PepsiCo, through the PepsiCo Foundation, is a founding member of the Closed Loop Fund, which is investing $100 million to raise recycling rates in the US, including through improved curbside recycling and materials processing.
Since 2010, PepsiCo Recycling has worked with more than 4,000 schools K-12, and numerous college and university campuses and local communities in the US to boost recycling and raise awareness or the importance of recycling. Since 2010, in schools alone, some 93 million cans and bottles have been recycled through PepsiCo Recycling.
"Leading companies understand that the packaging, product and service they deliver must be in alignment with their missions and goals," says Keefe Harrison, CEO for The Recycling Partnership. "Investing in recycling directly addresses climate change, delivering measurable reductions in greenhouse gases and water use. Moreover, those investments help communities thrive. Progress is built on commitment across the system, and we are pleased to welcome PepsiCo as a partner."