On Global Recycling Day, PepsiCo and its local bottling partner Dubai Refreshment Company, have committed to collect and recycle the equivalent of 100% of Aquafina plastic packaging produced in the UAE in 2021, supporting the country’s goal to divert 75% of total waste from the landfill. The pledge is part of PepsiCo’s ongoing commitment to reduce, recycle and reinvent towards a more sustainable food system.
PepsiCo’s vision is creating a world where plastic never becomes waste by working to support a shift from a linear to a circular economy approach. This means recycling and reusing packaging material rather than treating it as waste. Improving regional collection rates helps to increase the supply of recycled plastic and will further drive the demand for recycling facilities which are still limited in the country.
Through a mass collection project in collaboration with UAE-based waste management specialist Dulsco, PepsiCo is committing to increasing local recycling rates, with the aim to double plastic collections by the end of 2022. Dulsco’s circular economy approach is localized and invests in SMEs, providing tangible and direct benefit to local communities.
As part of the partnership, Dulsco’s specially designed recycling trucks will collect waste from schools, residential communities, and commercial entities and transport them to a Materials Recovery Facility for waste segregation and recovery where the plastic will be ready to be upcycled into yarn to be reused as fabric or plastic strapping bands, commonly used as packing material.
The mass collection project will be complemented by targeted pilot projects to install Reverse Vending Machines and recycling bins in strategic locations, supporting the UAE’s vision to divert 75% of total waste from the landfill in 2021.
To ensure traceability, Dulsco will leverage digital data capturing, weighing system and GPS monitoring to track and report the progress of PepsiCo’s recyclables. This will be coupled with a complete report of waste diversion from landfill backed up by green certificates from recyclers to ensure material is kept in the supply chain and out of the environment.
“Through investment, goal-setting, collaboration and our 2021 commitment to collect and recycle plastic waste in the UAE, we are charging ahead with systematic implementation of our sustainability agenda, helping us to build a more sustainable food system and moving us closer to a growing circular economy. We’re using the power of our brands to educate consumers about the importance of proper and consistent recycling, while working with government and local stakeholders to improve recycling infrastructure through strategic partnerships and investments”, said Aamer Sheikh, President and General Manager at PepsiCo – Middle East, North Africa and Pakistan.
“PepsiCo has set the agenda to address the issue of plastic waste in the country and we’re committed to supporting this vision by aligning with local waste management partners on clear goals, KPIs and guidelines to demonstrate tangible impact.” added Tarek El Sakka, CEO, Dubai Refreshment Company.
Earlier this year, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the UAE’s Circular Economy Policy to minimize natural resources consumption, reduce waste, and ensure the quality of life for current and future generations.
Globally, PepsiCo aims to reduce 35% of virgin plastic content across its beverage business by 2025. PepsiCo is also committed to designing 100% of packaging to be recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable; and increasing recycled content in its plastics packaging to 25% by 2025. PepsiCo and the PepsiCo Foundation are investing to increase recycling globally, committing more than $65 Million USD since 2018.