PepsiCo is planning to replace its plastic bottles of Aquafina with aluminum cans at locations around the U.S.
The move is part of a broader initiative from the company to reduce its plastic use as a consumer backlash against plastic use grows across the country. Microplastics, found in both air and water, block up the guts of animals and insects and can potentially have incredibly harmful consequences on ocean ecosystems.
The move could be calamitous for startups like Liquid Death, the direct to consumer retail startup pitching canned “tallboys” of water with a metal message and a veneer of environmental responsibility.
For now, Pepsi’s canned water will only be available at food vendors who stock its products, but the company is considering a broader transition to aluminum cans across its supply chain.
Aluminum is nearly 100% recyclable and has a better overall environmental footprint as a packaging material than plastic, according to some advocates.
The changes, which all go into effect next year, are expected to eliminate more than 8,000 metric tons of virgin plastic and approximately 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, representing the latest ambitious steps in the company’s sustainability journey and pursuit of a circular economy for plastics. They reinforce and advance PepsiCo’s goals to by 2025 make 100% of its packaging recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable