PepsiCo, Unilever and Danone to scale returnable packaging

PepsiCo, Unilever and Danone are teaming up with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as part of its Plastics Initiative to scale returnable packaging.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Plastics Initiative uses future visualisation and analytical modelling to show how scaled reuse systems can perform economically, environmentally, and experientially in comparison to single-use.

PepsiCo senior director Anke Boykin said the analytical modelling will be a “meaningful tool” for the brand and other companies that are “committed to expanding reuse options.”

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation argues that while many refill and returnable packaging pilots are “offering promise” they lack in collaboration “either economically or in creating a compelling customer experience.”

“While pilots are crucial, now is the time for system design at scale to catalyse action towards building the returnable system of the future,” it added.


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Unilever senior sustainability manager Jolanda de Rooij said that by only circular systems can only be scaled by “understanding variables such as the economic, environmental, and experiential impacts of reuse models versus single-use.”

The conclusions of this work will be finalised over the coming months and the full modelling results will be published with a thorough technical appendix later this year.

“The systemic change needed to reduce packaging waste requires innovation, collaboration, and commitment across the entire value chain, and so it has been important for PepsiCo to be part of these efforts,” continued Boykin.

“Better understanding of the size, scale, and impact of different scenarios of reuse across products, companies, and industries can help play a critical role in addressing this global challenge,” he added.

Circular economyFood and farmingMaterials and packagingNews

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