PepsiCo is hoping the switch from plastic to aluminum packaging for their purified water will help save the planet.
The company announced Thursday it will begin selling Aquafina’s purified still water in aluminum cans at U.S. foodservice outlets starting next year while conducting a test for broader distribution. The food giant’s sparkling water brand Bubly will also switch to cans only and Lifewter will be in recycled plastic.
PepsiCo said the switch is expected to remove more than 8,000 metric tons of plastic and about 11,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
"Tackling plastic waste is one of my top priorities and I take this challenge personally," PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a news release. "As one of the world's leading food and beverage companies, we recognize the significant role PepsiCo can play in helping to change the way society makes, uses, and disposes of plastics.”
“We are doing our part to address the issue head-on by reducing, recycling and reinventing our packaging to make it more sustainable, and we won't stop until we live in a world where plastics are renewed and reused,” he said.
The move follows PepsiCo’s commitment to make all of its packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025. The company is also aiming to use only 25 percent of recycled content in all its plastic packaging.
One of the benefits of switching from plastic to aluminum is that people are more likely to recycle cans, Bloomberg reported. About 67 percent of aluminum cans are recycled in the world, while about 91 percent of plastic goes to waste. Peter Gleick, Pacific Institute’s co-founder, told Bloomberg that aluminum cans only makes a marginal difference when it comes to helping the environment.
“Whether it’s water in bottles that are especially biodegradable, or water in cans, it’s something that’s a little better than plastic but shouldn’t be done at all,” Gleick said. “Canned water is a marginal improvement over bottled water.”