In a bid to reduce dependency on single-use plastics and in response to shareholder pressure, PepsiCo has agreed to set a time-bound goal by the end of 2022 for a percentage volume of its beverages to be delivered via strategies such as reusable and refillable bottles.
In November 2021, As You Sow, a non-profit organisation that utilises shareholder advocacy to improve the social and environmental practices of publicly traded companies, released a proposal stating that PepsiCo had been cited as a top global plastic packaging polluter for four consecutive years despite taking acting to reduce virgin plastic use and increase recycling.
The proposal suggested that PepsiCo should immediately evaluate its dependency on single-use plastics, with a particular focus on setting stronger refillable goals for its beverage portfolio.
PepsiCo has since informed As You Sow that it will develop a time-bound goal based on assessments of system capabilities, market opportunities, consumer preferences, and other factors. Some strategies PepsiCo says it will consider include reusable and refillable bottles and containers, beverages that utilise concentrates such as fountain drinks, prepare at home beverages like its SodaSteam subsidiary, and beverages sold in powder or drop form.
PepsiCo added that it will study what actions it can feasibly commit to in the coming months and announce its plans by the end of 2022. In recognition of this “significant step” by the company, As You Sow has agreed to withdraw its shareholder proposal.