PepsiCo Beverages North America is aspiring to eliminate plastic rings in its multipacks by rolling out ‘recyclable’ paper-based alternatives across the US and Canada.

Paperboard wraps and clips will be applied to PepsiCo’s Pepsi, Pepsi Zero, Mountain Dew, Starry, Gatorade and, in Canada, 7UP drinks, amongst other brands. The packaging is thought to offer a consumer-friendly branded design and be easily applicable on shelves.

Furthermore, the packaging is apparently recyclable and made from recyclable materials in itself. Its implementation – which has begun in Canada and will commence in a phased, regional approach in the United States later this year – is thought to make PepsiCo the first beverage company to replace plastic rings for multipacks with paper-based alternatives across North America.

The development is expected to cut millions of pounds of plastics from PepsiCo’s North American packaging and make progress towards packaging circularity. Additionally, it expects to contribute towards PepsiCo’s pep+ goals, including a 50% reduction in virgin plastic from non-renewable sources per serving across its global beverage and convenient foods portfolio by 2030.

Towards the end of last year, Packaging Europe spoke with Katharina Stenholm, chief sustainability officer and senior vice president at PepsiCo, about her contribution to – and general progress within – the pep+ campaign. She suggested that ten European markets were then on track to transition into 100% rPET by the end of 2022, but warned that technological and infrastructural limits, alongside the regulatory environment, were still roadblocks in the process.

Other steps towards sustainability-minded multipack packaging includes PepsiCo’s paper-based outer packaging for PepsiCo’s Walkers Baked six-packs and ‘bagless’ multipack packaging for its Snack A Jacks range.

In a series of beverage-related innovations, Britvic Soft Drinks has rolled out a recyclable carry handle solution from Item Products into the 1.75L twin bottle pack for its Robinsons fruit drink brand, while Mondi seeks to replace plastic shrink wrap for the transportation of PET beverage bottles with a recyclable paper wrapping solution.

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