Pepsi Moves Toward Using Recycled Content

Athens, GA - Students and consumers joined activists participating in events around the United States that celebrate success in getting Coca-Cola to use recycled plastic in their beverage containers and to hold PepsiCo to the same standard. Coke is currently using 10 percent recycled plastic in three-quarters of its North American bottles.

Pepsi responded to consumer and shareholder pressure by sending letters to some of its bottlers and shareholders stating that it is aiming to use 10 percent recycled content by 2005.

Consumers sent thousands of empty plastic bottles back to Pepsi over the course of a few days. Both groups are asking Pepsi to match Coke's progress and begin using 10 percent recycled plastic immediately, and they are urging both beverage giants to set a goal of using 25 percent recycled plastic by 2005.

More than 1.6 million Pepsi soda bottles and cans are thrown away every hour in the United States. In one day, more than 40 million Pepsi soft drink containers become litter or get sent to landfills and incinerators. In 1999, 114 billion soda and beer containers were burned, buried and littered, rather than recycled.

Recycling these beverage containers can yield substantial environmental benefits. Given the vast size of the beverage industry, and the rapidly growing role of the plastic bottle within it, these benefits are significant.