launched in April, can PepsiCo’s “bottle free” packaging become a banner of the beverage industry?
The food and beverage industry is setting off massive sustainable actions. As a global food and beverage giant with great influence and brand appeal in China, PepsiCo has implemented its sustainable commitment in a new way.
According to foodaily, Pepsi will launch Pepsi Cola’s “bottle free” packaging in China in April to intuitively express the concept of “low-carbon consumption” with products. The new packaging not only removes the label and simplifies the recycling process, but also introduces recycled polyethylene on the outer packaging. Think of PepsiCo’s ongoing program (PEP +) launched last year, and the industry leader is turning the slogan into reality step by step.
Looking around the world, bottle free products seem to have become a new trend in beverage packaging. How did it rise? What are the advantages compared with various low-carbon packaging schemes? Is the development of non bottle label packaging just as simple as removing the label? What efforts are hidden behind it?
In PepsiCo’s “no bottle label” package,
Those hard to see innovations and efforts
For consumers, it is easy to remove the label from the bottle. However, for brands, especially the leading brands with huge sales network and stable product cognition in China, we need to redouble our efforts to make a little change.
The “no bottle label” package launched by Pepsi this time retains the patented bottle body design of Pepsi Cola as a whole. The iconic arc wave line and three-stage bottle body are matched with the classic blue bottle cap to show the “Pepsi” style. Plastic labels and ink printing are removed from the bottle body and bottle cap respectively, Pepsi Cola embossed trademark is added to the bottle body, and information such as product traceability and shelf life are printed by laser technology.
PepsiCo has also redesigned the outer packaging of non bottle labeled products. The outer packaging is made of 24% recycled polyethylene and marked with “good recycling”. The logo is innovatively designed based on recyclable symbols, adds a praise gesture, and integrates two arrows around the center of the circle on the “back” pattern, symbolizing that the recycled beverage bottles can be recycled.
It is reported that the new Pepsi Cola “no bottle label” package will be sold through the designated channel with the smallest sales unit – Multi bag (12 pieces / box), and its price will be consistent with the ordinary 300ml mini bottle. The overall commodity has been evaluated by relevant departments for compliance for many times, and the product design meets the national requirements.
A label may be insignificant to individuals, but considering the annual beverage consumption, the savings in packaging materials and the carbon emissions behind it are considerable.
Although China’s laws and regulations have not yet approved the use of recycled plastics in food contact materials, we can take the advantages of recycled polyester bottles in carbon emission reduction as an example. At the 2020 International Packaging Innovation Conference (ipif), Dong Yingxian, director of beverage packaging research and development in PepsiCo Asia Pacific, said that the use of recycled polyester plastics can reduce greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) emissions by 63% and energy consumption by 79% compared with primary polyester plastics, The data is from the American Plastics Recycling Association (APR). According to the data released by APR in May 2020, the production of one ton of recycled polyester plastic can reduce about 1.3-1.4 tons of carbon dioxide emissions compared with the original polyester plastic.
In 2021, PepsiCo’s “ongoing plan” proposed that “by 2030, the packaging of all products will be reduced by 50% of primary plastics”. The bottle free products that will be listed in China next month are a solid step towards this grand goal.
Behind a series of amazing carbon reduction figures is the firm belief and unremitting persistence of food and beverage enterprises. In order to “tear off” a small label, PepsiCo needs to redouble its efforts in many links.
The first is to use a new relief process to save ink printing.
How does non bottle label packaging present the necessary information? The first method is to use a laser code printer to engrave the production date (shelf life), batch number and other information on the bottle. Another way is to carve the graphic content that you want to present on the bottle body on the bottle blowing mold at the molding stage of PET bottle, and then “carve” it on the bottle body at one time during blow molding.
Source: Official Website of some brands of global bottleless products
Compared with laser engraving, relief engraving needs to redesign the mold, which has become the first test for many brands who favor relief technology. When the new bottle type is put on the market, the gap between the minimum production capacity (starting printing capacity) of the packaging line and the initial market capacity also requires enterprises to invest more capital and time.
According to the requirements of laws and regulations, products without bottle labels must be sold in boxes. PepsiCo has also tightened the control of sales channels to ensure the compliance of products.
Non bottle label packaging is still a new thing in the domestic market, which needs the brand to constantly try and adhere to. In fact, in October 2021, Pepsi has launched a Pepsi Cola sugar free lime flavor “bottle free” package in South Korea. Continuing to try “bottle free” packaging in China’s larger and dynamic market this year is a positive attitude towards sustainable development.
“Bottle free” packaging is an important part of PepsiCo’s carbon reduction goal, and behind the carbon reduction goal is a more ambitious sustainable vision outlined by PepsiCo for many years.
No plastic waste, go green:
PepsiCo’s vision of sustainability
In the eyes of Chinese people, PepsiCo is full of vitality and dynamic, enthusiasm and steadiness. In PepsiCo’s eyes, “sustainability” is becoming one of the basic principles of development in China.
The goal is to develop low-carbon products without standard. In fact, not only for the sustainability of packaging materials, PepsiCo is outlining a sustainable vision through business practices at different levels of the industry value chain, from environmental protection actions.
At the second sustainable development forum in September 2021, PepsiCo announced the concept of overall business strategic transformation with sustainable development as the core. The accompanying “Zhengzhi plan” has become the road map of this grand idea – from purchasing raw materials, manufacturing and selling products in a more sustainable way, to encouraging consumers to contribute to the sustainable development of mankind and the earth through its iconic brand, to supporting communities and improving people’s livelihood throughout the supply chain.
“PepsiCo positive plan” includes positive agriculture, positive products and positive value chain, from ecological farm to scientific formula, from energy and water conservation to driving upstream and downstream partners to green. Under this grand idea, it is the ultimate goal of promoting the sustainable development of the food and beverage industry with the power of Pepsi and promoting the “harmonious coexistence between the earth and people”.
Under the guidance of the concept of “positive holding”, PepsiCo has carried out a series of low-carbon environmental protection actions in China.
In 2020, PepsiCo launched the “PepsiCo recycling and blue peer” long-term sustainable development project to open up online and offline with the innovative idea of “unity of knowledge and practice”. Over the past year, the concept of “plastic recycling and reuse” has been disseminated to the public through various activities. One of the most amazing is that during the national coral day in September 2021, PepsiCo, together with the marine protection organization megahorn whale, used 25000 waste plastic bottles to create an art piano, performing an innovative transformation from waste plastic to pioneer art.
“Walking with blue” creates new ideas and paradigms for carbon reduction and environmental protection actions in the new consumption era with a fashionable, cool and social form close to the lives of young people.
Broad public participation to provide fertile ground for the sustainable development of PepsiCo; In terms of “carbon reduction” of products, PepsiCo has reduced the weight of packaging through technological upgrading and reduced the use of primary plastics. It is an active attempt under this framework to test the water without bottle label packaging.
In terms of plastic “recycling”, the proportion of renewable ingredients is gradually increasing. According to PepsiCo, its factories across China are trying to make waste PET bottles into factory clothes to realize the closed-loop use of RPET in PepsiCo system. In 2021, Beijing factory entrusted qualified suppliers to make nearly 900 pieces of factory clothes from 727.8 kg of recycled waste plastics. Coupled with other environmentally friendly recycled products such as fabrics and packaging plastics, the Beijing plant will reduce plastic emissions by nearly 15 tons in 2021. The success of the first battle has greatly increased PepsiCo’s confidence. In 2022, PepsiCo plans to produce more than 1700 “sustainable” factory clothes.
In terms of energy conservation, PepsiCo has also taken positive measures to promote green energy and optimize the use of water resources. From January 1 this year, Changchun plant, the first 100% green power plant in China, has used renewable energy to replace thermal power generation. The photovoltaic panels on the roof of Guangzhou factory generate 2 million kwh of electricity every year. In the Zhengzhou plant, PepsiCo piloted the “near zero discharge” project. Through the transformation of water treatment equipment, graded utilization and other water-saving measures, the annual water demand was reduced by 120000 tons, and the reclaimed water discharge decreased from more than 110000 tons in 2018 to about 20000 tons at present.
Thanks to PepsiCo’s continuous promotion of energy conservation and emission reduction in factories across the country, from 2016 to 2021, the factory energy consumption index improved by 20.4% and the water utilization rate improved by 20.5%. Since 2020, all factories have won the “excellent enterprise in energy and water conservation” award issued by China Beverage Association.
PepsiCo’s low-carbon strategy has achieved remarkable results through actions at the three levels of “reduce cycle reshape”. The amount of carbon dioxide used in 2019 is more than 10000 tons, which is equivalent to the reduction of carbon dioxide in 2021-2015.
The implementation of the “ongoing plan” has made PepsiCo’s green vision more clear and touchable. The advent of bottle free packaging will enable more Chinese people to gradually understand and agree with PepsiCo’s sustainable concept, and use their meager but prairie fire power to describe a vibrant future.
Low carbon trend in beverage packaging,
Why do non bottle products stand out?
Making packaging lighter is a common practice in the food and beverage industry to promote sustainable strategies. Innova Market Insights report shows that from 2015 to 2019, the global catering products using degradable packaging increased by 53.9%, of which the products using bio based materials increased by 16.4%. Lightweight and bio based, together set off a new green revolution in packaging.
In many “subtraction” schemes, removing the bottle label is becoming a new trend of low-carbon beverage packaging.
There are no bottled drinks in overseas markets. Source: Asahi group
The concept of beverage non bottle packaging originated from Japan. Driven by factors such as improving the recycling efficiency of beverage bottles, increasing people’s awareness of environmental protection and relevant laws and regulations, it has become a trend in the beverage industry in Japan and spread all over the world.
Growth of Japanese non bottle beverage market from 2018 to 2022. Source: www.nikkei.com com
Behind the bottle removal label of beverage bottles is the global recognition of the importance of carbon reduction.
Many people may not think that the original intention of removing the bottle label is just to make the packaging recycling more efficient.
According to foodaily, many countries in the world have strict regulations on waste classification and disposal. For example, Belgium, which began to implement waste classification in the early 1990s, stipulates that the recycled cartons and cartons need to be disassembled, flattened and stacked neatly; There shall be no liquid residue in the package; The milk box needs to be unfolded and flattened at four corners; The bottle body and cap should be collected separately
Image source: www.dreamstime.com com
Non bottle packaging further simplifies the plastic recycling process, so as to improve the recovery rate of PET bottles. The demonstration of non bottle standard products is of great significance to guide enterprises’ low-carbon production and public carbon consumption.
For most brands, they do not have enough strength and energy to participate in the research of low-carbon packaging and low-carbon technology. In the low-carbon practice of enterprises, the most feasible way is to reduce and reuse, continuously improve the proportion of recycled materials, and carry out effective waste management at the end of packaging life.
In addition to feasibility considerations, de labeling has also brought benefits to enterprises. It includes the saved cost of bottle label, ink and other materials, as well as the operation cost of labeling equipment, and even the operation cost of removing labels in the recycling link.
Of course, behind the income, we should also see the payment of the enterprise, including not only the special process used to engrave the necessary information on the bottle after removing the label; It also includes the continuous investment in channel management and consumer communication at the initial stage of entering the market. What supports the enterprise is to obtain the reputation of consumers and cultivate long-term sustainable business value.
As a form of packaging, the extreme simplicity of bottle free packaging creates a distinctive appearance, allowing consumers to intuitively feel the low-carbon consumption concept emitted by the product, which is conducive to developing the consumption habit of “readily environmental protection”, and even become a bright business card of low-carbon life, so as to improve the repurchase rate.
For food and beverage enterprises, sustainability is not only a slogan, but requires energy, sincerity and courage to promote the implementation. PepsiCo’s “bottle free” packaging will undoubtedly become another banner of the beverage industry.
Foodaily believes that there will be more and more non bottle standard products and renewable bottles in China, which will become a bright scenery on the shelves. One day in the future, when you drink a bottle of beverage, will you be used to exploring the innovation secrets contained in the bottle and the unremitting efforts of the enterprise?
PepsiCo’s “bottle free” packaging makes us look forward to this day.
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