PepsiCo's 7UP bottles get green makeover in Canada

The move should eliminate the use of about 6 million pounds of virgin plastic annually.

PepsiCo Beverages Canada has started packaging the 7UP beverage brand in the company's first bottle in North America to be made from 100 percent recycled PET plastic.

The development is worth noting for a couple of reasons. First, because the plastic has to be "food-grade." That is, it has to meet the healthy regulatory requirements. Second, the company says that creating 100 percent recycled plastic bottles that are strong enough to deal with the pressure from carbonated soda is more challenging than for liquids that aren't under pressure.

PepsiCo figures that the introduction of the 7UP EcoGreen Bottle in Canada will help reduce the amount of virgin plastic used by the company by approximately 6 million pounds annually. That amounts to a 30 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 55 percent reduction in energy consumption compared with the use of traditional materials, according to data that PepsiCo uses from the Association for Post-Consumer Plastic Recyclers.

Said Richard Glover, president of PepsiCo Beverages Canada:

"After three years of research and development, we have cracked the code to commercially develop a soft drink bottle made from 100 percent recycled PET plastic, and Canada has proudly led the way. Consumers want products and packaging that reflects their desire to protect the environment, and PepsiCo is committed to delivering on that with this kind of world-class innovation.”

The new bottles will start to show up across all 7UP and Diet 7UP package sizes across Canada starting in August. The innovation took an investment of $1 million across the PepsiCo manufacturing facilities in Canada that will be used to make them, although the company said that will not translate into a price increase.

For an idea of how these bottles compare to the others you might see from PepsiCo, consider that the company uses an average of 10 percent of recycled PET in most of its major soft drink brands and bottles across the United States and Canada. It introduced the 100 percent PET recycled bottle in March 2011.

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