The “Holy Grail” consortium was established to lead increased, higher quality packaging recycling across the European Union

PepsiCo will be participating in the “Holy Grail” Consortium to trial digital watermarks on packaging as part of our efforts to increase recycling across Europe.  PepsiCo is one of four brand owners elected to the Leadership Group for the second phase of the project.

Tackling the challenge of better sorting of waste:

One of the pressing challenges in building a circular economy is how to better sort packaging waste so that more, higher quality plastic is recycled.   Digital watermarks on product packaging may provide a solution; these invisibles codes cover the surface of packaging and include information such as the manufacturer, product, material type and whether it is food safe.  When they are scanned, this information sorts them into the right stream – making recycling easier and more efficient.  Another step forward in protecting the environment!
The technology was initially identified by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the next phase of the project will take place on a much greater scale with PepsiCo trialling digital watermarks on some of our packaging in 2021.

PepsiCo Europe CEO, Silviu Popovici shared: “Effective sorting of waste is a barrier to wider recycling of packaging materials in Europe.  This industry-wide challenge can only be resolved through working together for a system-wide solution.  Developing digital watermarks for packaging is a prime example of how collective action and technology can advance a circular economy. This is another step in PepsiCo's efforts to build a world where plastic need never become waste.”

Accelerating efforts through partnership

Across our business we continue to drive progress toward a circular economy by focusing on reducing the plastic we use, driving circularity though recycling, and reinventing our packaging.  We are working to make 100% of our packaging recyclable, compostable or biodegradable by 2025 and to include 50% recycled content in all our beverage bottles across the EU by 2030.  In addition to our own efforts, we are committed to catalysing change across the packaging supply chain by working with a broad group of partners. Through collaborative efforts we aim to maximise the potential of projects through collective action.  This includes our participation in a number of partnerships where we are working with peers pre-competitively such as: the creation of guidelines through CEFLEX (the Circular Economy for Flexible Packaging) to aid the design of flexible packaging for recyclability, investing in the Pulpex consortium, to develop and scale the world's first widely recyclable paper bottle and our support to Carbios to build enhanced recycling technology which will reduce the amount of plastic that becomes waste.

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