Frito-Lay and Quaker opened an industry-leading Greenhouse Learning Center, which will be used to field test, measure, and analyze compostable packaging with an aim to speed up the rate of innovation. Photo from Frito-Lay North America

Frito-Lay & Quaker Open New Industry-Leading Greenhouse Learning Center To Fast-Track Sustainable Packaging Innovation

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Two brands of the PepsiCo company, Frito-Lay and Quaker, announced the opening of an industry-leading Greenhouse Learning Center at its R&D headquarters. The Learning Center will be used to field test, measure, and analyze compostable packaging in an effort to accelerate the pace of innovation. By designing all packaging to be recyclable, compostable, biodegradable, or reusable by 2025, the business will have achieved a major milestone toward realizing its PepsiCo Positive (pep+) packaging target.

“Our sustainable packaging vision is to build a world where packaging need never becomes waste,” said Denise Lefebvre, senior vice president of R&D for PepsiCo. “We’re actively changing our own compostable snack packaging technologies. By sharing these technologies, we’re inviting the industry to make these changes as well. We are prioritizing, investing in, and expediting projects to build a more circular, inclusive economy.”

As packaging formulations are improved, the R&D packaging team will use the Greenhouse Learning Center to test the biodegradation characteristics of compostable packages in various environments in order to accelerate learning, validate lab results through simultaneous, real-time experiments, and iterate packaging solutions more quickly.

In an effort to improve the company and the broader industry, the Learning Center is designed to make it possible for packaging products to go from testing to certification-ready at least two to three times faster. The brand-new facility, which is a first for PepsiCo worldwide, is situated next to and complements the current prototyping lab where compostable packaging is created. By educating partners, stakeholders, and visitors on the advantages of switching to compostable packaging, demonstrating circularity with biodegradable materials, and offering training to co-ops and visitors, it also hopes to actively shift industry standards.

In order to enhance the packaging process, the research and development teams at Frito-Lay and Quaker have been collaborating and developing partnerships for many years. The evolution of Frito-Lay and Quaker’s compostable packaging has continued since the release of the first commercially available, 100% compostable chip bags in 2010.

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“We look forward to leveraging key findings from the Greenhouse Learning Center, alongside our scale, reach, and expertise across North America and globally, to drive progress across our organization and the entire industry,” said David Allen, chief sustainability officer, Frito-Lay and Quaker. “We must work together to inspire positive change for the planet and people, and Frito-Lay and Quaker are proud to be leading the way.”

Based on the knowledge gained from the introduction of the next-generation, commercially compostable packaging offered by Off The Eaten Path, the firm unveiled additional choices manufactured from 85% renewable plant materials that emit about 60% less greenhouse gas (GHG) than conventional snack bags. Going forward, the company will concentrate on packaging that is biodegradable and can be composted at home, and research conducted at the Greenhouse Learning Center will be important in this regard.

PepsiCo has been integrating sustainability into its operations for a number of years. In 2021, the company launched PepsiCo Positive (pep+), an end-to-end transformation that places sustainability at the heart of how the firm will generate growth and value. Positive Agriculture, Positive Value Chain, and Positive Choices are its established objectives under a single comprehensive framework. For more information about pep+ visit PepsiCo.com/PepsiCoPositive.

While it would be great if Pepsico actually does follow through with its goals, it should be noted, that according to #Breakfreefromplastics (an organization that monitors the world’s top polluting corporations and provides an annual audit), it has Pepsico listed as one of the top three largest plastic polluters for the past five years running!

Source & photo: Frito-Lay North America via PRNewswire


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