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Pepsi just debuted a big change to how fans will consume its products at sporting events — here's what's new

"Key success metrics for [these] cups and food trays will obviously be the redemption rate."

Istanbul olympic stadium, PepsiCo green beverage packaging

Photo Credit: iStock

The field wasn't the only green thing at this year's Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Women's Champion League Finals. PepsiCo partnered with UEFA to offer 100% recyclable PepsiCo packaging, as well as returnable beverage cups and Doritos trays at both events.  

The Women's UCL Finals took place on June 3 in Eindhoven and June 10 at Instanbul's Olympic Stadium. Both events featured reusable cups that fans made a deposit on, which they got back at the end of the event when they returned their cup. Fans also enjoyed their Doritos Nachos on returnable trays. 

Plus, Istanbul's stadium featured 220 recycling bins throughout the venue for guests to properly dispose of their waste. 

The events were a pilot program for UEFA's Circular Economy Strategy. Circular Economy is a model for production and consumption in which we reuse, repair, share, and more to make existing products and materials last longer — like allowing soccer fans to reuse their cups and then return them during the match.

"UEFA is thrilled to continue its partnership with PepsiCo to implement circular economy practices in these two significant finals," Michele Uva, EUFA's director of social and environmental sustainability, said ahead of the events. 

While the data from the events isn't in quite yet, PepsiCo and UEFA are optimistic about the results. 

"[While] we are waiting for the data from Eindhoven stadium post-event, key success metrics for [these] cups and food trays will obviously be the redemption rate, which we trust will be [greater than] 90%," Archana Jagannathan, PepsiCo Europe's chief sustainability officer, told Sustainable Brands.

This is a big step for the sustainability of soccer matches in Europe. On average, one match can generate as much as 4.6 tons of waste. If you take into account all the matches organized by European national football associations, that's more than 826,000 tons.

But it's not just soccer matches that are producing waste. Sporting events are long-time offenders of trash across the world. In the U.S., the Super Bowl alone generates an estimated 40 tons of trash. 

That's why circular efforts like this are so important to the industry. And thankfully, PepsiCo and UEFA aren't the only ones making moves in the right direction. Similar circular economy efforts are being made by Anheuser-Busch, Ball Corporation, and Liverpool FC.

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