PepsiCo aims to eliminate virgin fossil-fuel based plastic from its crisp and snack bags across Europe by 2030, as part of its ‘PepsiCo Positive’ plan – which includes an ambition of reaching net zero emissions by 2040.
To help the snacks giant get there, its Walkers crisp brand has announced a £14m investment in sustainable food innovations, which it claims will remove 250 tonnes of virgin plastic from its supply chain annually.
One of the innovations is targeting palette wrap. Walkers has invested in a new stretch film to wrap around pallets of its crisps before they are distributed to retailers. Produced using nanotechnology, the new film has ‘tiny air bubbles’ inside it to reduce the amount of plastic used. According to Walkers, strength and stretch capabilities are maintained.
By using this technology, as opposed to the previous film, the brand predicts a 40% reduction in virgin plastic will be achieved each year. Reducing the amount of fossil fuel-based virgin plastic in the shrink wrap will also see its annual carbon emissions reduced by 465 tonnes, the company estimates.
Another innovation focuses on the outer packaging of Walkers multipacks. The outer plastic packaging on ‘millions’ of Walkers 22- and 24-bag multipacks will be replaced with a new cardboard design which further reduces the amount of virgin plastic used by the firm.
The cardboard packaging has already undergone a successful trial and Tesco, and Walkers plans to rollout the new packaging across ‘all major supermarkets’ in the UK in the coming weeks.
According to Simon Devaney, sustainable packaging director at PepsiCo UK & Ireland, the investment marks ‘an important step forward’, delivering a ‘huge’ reduction in virgin plastic across some of the company’s ‘best-selling’ ranges.
“Reducing virgin plastic across our supply chain is a key part of our commitment to creating a world where packaging never becomes waste.”