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Mondelez and PepsiCo Agree to Cut Use of Virgin Plastic

Key driver was engagement with As You Sow on reducing single-use plastic packaging.


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Chicago-based snack and confectionery company Mondelez International and food and beverage giant PepsiCo, Harrison, N.Y.,  have agreed to cut their use of virgin plastic for packaging as part of increased efforts to eliminate and replace single-use plastics. This following engagement with As You Sow, Berkley, Calif., the non-profit foundation chartered to promote corporate responsibility through shareholder advocacy, coalition building, and legal strategies.

Mondelez set a virgin plastic reduction target for 2025 that will result in a 5% absolute reduction in virgin plastic use in overall plastic packaging, including a 25% cut in virgin plastic in its rigid plastic packaging. These actions are expected to result in a 10,000 ton reduction of virgin plastic packaging. The targets will be achieved through elimination of plastic material, packaging redesign, increased use of recycled content in flexible and rigid plastics, and exploration of reuse models, according to the company. The company goals will reduce plastic over 2020 baseline usage amounts and will account for projected business growth.


PepsiCo also committed to a time-bound goal for absolute reduction of virgin plastic across its business units, but is still assessing the size of the cuts and will announce the goal later in 2021. In 2019, PepsiCo agreed to reduce virgin plastic content by 35% in its beverage portfolio by 2025; the new reduction target will build on this goal and apply to the other company sectors such as snack and foods divisions Frito Lay and Quaker Oats. The cuts will be achieved through a number of levers related to packaging design to eliminate plastic, reuse business models, product innovation, and increased use of recycled content.