On Friday, the company said that Aquafina-labeled water will soon be sold in aluminum cans in American fast food and restaurant chains beginning as soon as next year. The company tests a wider roll-out to retail stores.
Canning water is not a new idea. Companies like Anheuser-Busch have provided water-in-the-can to emergency workers to respond to natural disasters, and a few startups use trendy marketing to make soft water a consumer phenomenon. For example, Liquid Death puts water from the Alps into a tallboy can.
Some environmentalists have pursued aluminum over plastic, the former being much easier to recycle. And companies from all types of industries are working to find sustainable alternatives as the world's plastic problems continue to pile up: an estimated 91
% of all plastic waste has never been recycled.
"Tackling plastic waste is one of my top priorities and I take that challenge personally," PepsiCo ( PEP ) CEO Ramon Laguarta said in a statement. "We do our part to solve the problem with the head by reducing, reusing and reinventing our packaging."
The company said that Bubly, its line with flavored sparkling water, will now only be offered in cans. However, Pepsi will not completely remove plastic. Bottle of Aquafina will still be available at the moment. And Pepsi said its brand of "premium bottled water", LifeWtr, will be packed in a type of plastic that the company says is recyclable and "converts into bottles again and again." Its soda still comes in bottles.
The company said the changes will come into force next year and will "eliminate more than 8,000 tonnes of virgin plastic and about 11,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions."
Pepsi said it committed to using only reusable, compostable or biodegradable packaging by 2025, and it is promised to make new plastic bottles that use 25% recycled material.