PepsiCo is giving Aquafina water bottles an aluminum facelift. After being identified as one of the world’s biggest producers of plastic waste, the company is on a mission to change their ways. In 2020, they’ll begin selling water in aluminum cans to U.S. food service outlets, while they test the change with retailers.
PepsiCo also announced plans to package Lifewtr in 100% rPET. The carbonated water, Bubly, will only be sold in cans.
The changes are expected to eliminate upwards of 8,000 metric tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, the company says. It’s a move that advances PepsiCo’s goal to make 100% of its packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable and use 25% recycled plastic content in all its plastic packaging by 2025.
“Tackling plastic waste is one of my top priorities and I take this challenge personally,” PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a press release. “As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, we recognize the significant role PepsiCo can play in helping to change the way society makes, uses, and disposes of plastics.”
Aluminum cans have a higher recycling rate than competing beverage containers, according to The Aluminum Association. In fact, aluminum is one of the only materials in the consumer and industrial waste stream that can be endlessly recycled. Nearly 75% of the almost one billion tons of aluminum ever produced is still in productive use. Aluminum can be back on the shelf in the form of a new can just 60 days after you place it in your recycling bin.
But remember, improving the overall collection rates of used aluminum is an essential step in the pursuit of sustainability, as it is with any material. So, be sure to wash your recyclables to avoid recycling contamination… unless of course, it’s canned water.