May 19 - PepsiCo Announces Eco-Friendly Single-Use Cups

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Earlier this week PepsiCo announced the release of five disposable cup options for its customers that are either recyclable or compostable. The plastic cups would be made from PET, including one option with 20% postconsumer PET content. Paper cups would be made from compostable paper or wax. See the press release here.

CAW appreciates the company’s good intentions in using post consumer content and a recyclable plastic resin or compostable material for its single-use fountain cups. However, we do want to point out that some of the "eco-friendly" PET cups from this group of options--which don’t contain any post consumer content--have room for improvement.

The message on these cups proclaim "WOW our cups are fully recyclable", right below a green tree with the company’s environmental promise. Earlier this year, PepsiCo revealed its 100% plant-based PET bottle, which is also "fully recyclable." These products can be recycled, but they still involve the wasteful practice of using virgin material.

We urge consumers to close the recycling loop by purchasing and using products with recycled content rather than virgin material. With a beverage container recycling rate of 82% in the state, using recycled PET into cups is a great way to close the loop. And the use of recycled material reduces the need for pollution-intensive mining and harvesting of virgin resources.

See the PepsiCo video below.


As more greenwashing attempts show up in the marketplace, we hope to create increased awareness about false or misleading environmental advertising. Along those lines, we are sponsoring SB 567 (DeSaulnier) which would require truthful environmental advertising for plastic products.