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Pepsi-backed snack company unveils first-of-its-kind chip bag: 'We are proud to work … towards more sustainable packaging solutions'

"Collaboration is key to progressing on our ambition."

"Collaboration is key to progressing on our ambition."

Photo Credit: Sunbites

PepsiCo is one of the largest producers of plastic waste in the world, but the good news is that enough people have gotten publicly angry at the massive snack and beverage corporation that it has finally begun to make changes to some of its packaging.

The latest change is a new premium snack packaging for the Sunbits chip brand containing 50% recycled plastic, which launched in the UK and Ireland in late 2023, Packaging World reported.

The new packaging involved an advanced recycling process that kept the new chip bags compliant with EU regulations around food-grade packaging. Multiple different companies were involved in transforming the waste plastic into new bags.

"At PepsiCo, we are proud to work with our industry partners towards more sustainable packaging solutions," said PepsiCo Europe CSO Archana Jagannathan. "We are excited about the Sunbites new packaging in the UK, and we look forward to learning from this pilot market and expanding it across more countries in the near future. Collaboration is key to progressing on our ambition to eliminate virgin fossil-based plastic in all our crisp and chip packaging in Europe by the end of 2030."  

It is worth noting that even if all of PepsiCo's chip bags were made of 50% recycled plastic (which, to be clear, they are not), the company would still be responsible for an astonishing amount of plastic pollution. A recent environmental audit found that the brand was responsible for a whopping 5% of all global plastic pollution.

Last year, New York state sued PepsiCo for clogging the Buffalo River with plastic trash. New York Attorney General Letitia James had strong words for the company, saying that it had "misled the public about the effectiveness of its plastic recycling and its efforts to combat plastic pollution."

PepsiCo's stated goals for decreasing its pollution output include: "Design 100% of our packaging to be recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, or reusable" by 2025, which sounds dubious considering that 2025 is currently seven months away.

Still, though a 50% recycled bag for one type of chip in the UK and Ireland may be a drop in the bucket for one of the world's most egregious plastic polluters, it is still a step in the right direction. 

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