PepsiCo launches community waste program with Clean Up Australia

PepsiCo and Clean Up Australia kick off national program to build a circular economy for packaging at sporting facilities.

PepsiCo has strengthened its commitment to tackling plastic waste by becoming the first large food FMCG business in Australia to move to 100 percent recyclable packaging across its entire snacks range.

PepsiCo announced the milestone alongside the launch of Greening the Green, a partnership with Clean Up Australia aimed at increasing soft plastic recycling across the country.

PepsiCo’s portfolio of snack brands includes  Smith’s, Red Rock Deli, Sakata, and Doritos. With final snack packaging design changes underway, by the end of the year consumers will be able to recycle all of their PepsiCo snack packaging via their home curb side recycling for cardboard and plastic trays, and REDcycle collection bins for soft plastic packaging.

“Increased recycling rates are critical to the success of a circular economy for soft plastics. Key to this is making packaging recyclable and easy to recycle. We are proud to have achieved the first step – designing 100 percent of our snacks packaging to be recyclable – meeting Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Target four years ahead of schedule,” said PepsiCo Australia and New Zealand chief marketing officer, Vandita Pandey.

The final packaging update will also see 100 percent of PepsiCo’s snack packaging carry the Australasian Recycling Logo (ARL) by the end of the year.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Clean Up Australia to work with REDcycle to help educate consumers on what can be recycled and create more opportunities to make it easier for Australians to recycle their soft plastics through the Greening Green program at sporting facilities around the country”.

PepsiCo pledged $650,000 at the Australian Government’s National Plastics Summit in 2020, to establish Greening the Green – an innovative new program developed by Clean Up Australia, that partners with REDcycle and Replas to work with local sporting facilities to streamline rubbish separation and collection, and increase soft plastics recycling.

A pilot is underway at ELS Hall Park in Ryde, NSW. A further 19 sporting grounds across Australia have signed up to the program with a total of 110 to be included over the next two years.

Greening the Green consists of a 12-week program to improve littering and rubbish collection via an interactive online learning experience. Facilities have the option of collecting valuable recyclables such as soft plastics and beverage containers through specific bins placed in high usage areas.

Soft plastics are collected by REDcycle, shredded and delivered to Replas, where they are moulded into useful equipment such as seating, bollards, signage and even sports trophies. Each participating sporting group is gifted a new piece of equipment made from recycled soft plastics, highlighting the benefits a circular economy can bring to the local community.

Minister for the Environment, Sussan Ley, said  the National Plastic Summit and the government’s commitment to establishing recycling as one of six national manufacturing priorities are key to helping change the national conversation.

“We are seeing companies like PepsiCo standing up to address a real issue with ‘soft’ plastic waste and I congratulate them along with, Clean Up Australia and REDcycle for this initiative,” Minister Ley said.

“Greening the Green shows that we can all play a role in recycling and creating a healthier environment and a healthier lifestyle.”

Clean Up Australia Chair Pip Kiernan highlighted the growing problem of soft plastics with volunteers reporting that they are now one of the more common plastic items removed during local Clean Ups.

“Volunteers are telling us that soft plastics are one of the more common plastic items they are now removing during local Clean Ups. And each year the volume of these soft plastics is rising. Greening the Green gives us the ideal opportunity to begin to change Australia’s recycling habits head-on, starting at the place where so many of us spend family time on weekends – our local sporting venues. This program will show Australians that the soft plastics we take for granted as packaging can be transformed into items the community can use. It’s recycling in action,” said Clean Up Australia Chairman, Pip Kiernan.

“REDcycle is proud to partner with PepsiCo. We commend the responsible and tangible steps the company has taken to address recyclability of their packaging and support the transition to a circular economy through campaigns like Greening the Green,” said RED Group Director, Elizabeth Kasell.

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