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PepsiCo has become the first large food FMCG business in Australia to move to 100 per cent recyclable packaging across its entire snacks range.

Along with the packaging switch, PepsiCo also launched its Greening the Green program, which aims to increase soft plastic recycling across the country.

PepsiCo pledged $650,000 at the Australian government’s National Plastics Summit in 2020, to establish its Greening the Green program to work with local sporting facilities to streamline rubbish separation and collection, and increase soft plastics recycling.

A pilot is underway at ELS Hall Park in Ryde, NSW, with a further 19 sporting grounds across the country having signed up to the program. A total of 110 will be included over the next two years.

The program was established in partnership with Clean Up Australia, REDcycle and Replas.

Final snack packaging design changes are currently underway, with consumers being able to recycle all of their PepsiCo snack packaging via home kerbside recycling and REDcycle collection bins by the end of the year.

The final packaging update will also see 100 per cent of PepsiCo’s snack packaging carry the Australasian Recycling Label (ARL) by the end of the year.

“Increased recycling rates are critical to the success of a circular economy for soft plastics. Key to this is making packaging recyclable and easy to recycle,” says Vandita Pandey, PepsiCo ANZ chief marketing officer.

“We are proud to have achieved the first step – designing 100 per cent of our snacks packaging to be recyclable – meeting Australia’s 2025 National Packaging Target four years ahead of schedule.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Clean Up Australia to work with REDcycle to help educate consumers on what can be recycled, and create more opportunities to make it easier for Australians to recycle their soft plastics through the Greening Green program at sporting facilities around the country.”

Greening the Green consists of a 12-week program to improve littering and rubbish collection via an interactive online learning experience.

Facilities have the option of collecting valuable recyclables, such as soft plastics and beverage containers through specific bins placed in high usage areas.

Soft plastics are collected by REDcycle, shredded and delivered to Replas, where they are moulded into useful equipment such as seating, bollards, signage, and even sporting trophies.

“We commend the responsible and tangible steps the company has taken to address recyclability of their packaging and support the transition to a circular economy through campaigns like Greening the Green,” says Elizabeth Kasell, RED Group director.

“We have various games taking place at our grounds, especially on weekends, with a  great number of families spending time here,” adds Matt O’Neill, head coach of the Ryde Hawks.

“Having clearly badged bins placed in and around our grounds will encourage users of all ages to do the right thing.

“It is amazing to think that trophies our players receive in the future could be made of recycled soft plastic as a result of this program.”

Each participating sporting group if gifted a new piece of equipment made from recycled soft plastics, highlighting the benefits a circular economy can bring to the local community.

Pip Kiernan, Clean Up Australia chair, highlighted the growing problem of soft plastics with volunteers reporting that they are now one of the more common plastic items removed during local Clean Ups.

“And each year, the volume of these soft plastics is rising,” Kiernan continues.

“Greening the Green gives us the ideal opportunity to begin to change Australia’s recycling habits head-on, starting at the place where so many of us spend family time on weekends – our local sporting venues.

“This program will show Australians that the soft plastics we take for granted as packaging can be transformed into items the community can use. It’s recycling in action.”

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