Efforts to combat the ocean plastic crisis have received a substantial boost following a USD 75 million donation from a group of companies including PepsiCo, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Official Snack and Beverage Partner.
PepsiCo’s donation is its latest step globally to mitigate the environmental impact of plastics – an estimated 250 million tonnes of which will pollute our oceans by 2028. Expo 2020 and PepsiCo are collaborating to showcase the food and beverage sector’s sustainable future.
The funding will help to advance long-term recycling and waste management solutions in South and Southeast Asia.
It will be implemented by investment management firm Circulate Capital and environmental non-profit organisation Ocean Conservancy, with the aim of creating a model that provides financial returns as well as benefits to the planet.
While plastics can have a positive contribution in reducing our carbon footprint (for example, lighter bottles result is lower carbon emissions when being transported), the problem can be inappropriate disposal. Plastic debris causes the deaths of more than one million seabirds and more than 100,000 marine mammals every year, according to UNESCO.
PepsiCo’s ‘Performance with Purpose’ strategy seeks to positively impact society and the environment – closely aligning with Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and its subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
In addition to their collaboration to show how we can eat and drink more sustainably in the future, Expo and PepsiCo also aim to inspire and educate millions of people on areas of critical importance, such as water stewardship, eco-friendly packaging, agriculture and nutrition.
PepsiCo has also signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, an initiative that aims to eradicate plastic waste and pollution at the source – aligning with PepsiCo’s commitment to use 100 per cent sustainable packaging by 2025.
Expo 2020 Dubai, the first World Expo ever hosted in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, aims to be one of the most sustainable in the history of the event. Expo’s Sustainability Pavilion will explore the potential for buildings to be self-sustaining while also inspiring visitors to commit to making a change in their lives that positively impacts the environment.