Concept: PepsiCo has partnered with UBQ to use the latter’s recycled bio-based thermoplastic made entirely of unsorted household waste including all the organic to develop sustainable pallets. PepsiCo aims to use sustainable pallets at two of its logistics centers. In addition to UBQ material, the pallets are made from recycled materials including recycled PP (polypropylene resin) and recycled BOPP (Biaxially Oriented Polypropylene).

Nature of Disruption: UBQ claims that during the manufacture of UBQ bio-based thermoplastic, waste is diverted and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are prevented. UBQ material is a bio-based thermoplastic converted from 100% unsorted municipal solid waste including mixed plastics, paper, cardboard, and organics. Its production decreases the landfilling of waste, preventing methane emissions and curtailing the leakage of toxic substances into the soil. UBQ claims that bio-based thermoplastic can substitute finite resources including plastic, wood, minerals, and concrete. The sustainable pallets are developed by PepsiCo’s partner Ecoboxes Embalagens Plásticas and claim that the use of UBQ’s material in the pallets saves the equivalent of more than 6,500 kg of GHG emissions equivalent to the annual carbon sequestration of 534 trees. Also, more than 739 kg of mixed waste can be redirected from landfills, looped back into the material as a valuable resource.

Outlook: Companies across the globe are looking at innovative technologies and materials that can help to reduce their carbon footprints and GHG emissions. Major companies in the food and beverage industry are investing heavily in developing sustainable materials for reducing their carbon footprint. PepsiCo has set robust environmental goals that are part of its sustainable transformation agenda, PepsiCo Positive (pep+), and aims to reduce GHG emissions by 40% in less than a decade and become Net-Zero by 2040. PepsiCo claims that the new sustainable pallets are part of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and aims to reduce the use of virgin plastic by 50% across its entire food and beverage portfolio.

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