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PepsiCo products

PepsiCo, Danimer Scientific Partner on Biodegradable Resins

PepsiCo productsPepsiCo and biotechnology leader Danimer Scientific have teamed up to develop biodegradable film resins that will help the beverage giant meet its sustainable packaging goals.

The agreement builds on the two companies’ long-standing relationship, which has included the development of bio-based compostable packaging for PepsiCo’s snack brands, and will allow Danimer Scientific to expand its Nodax PHA plant, the companies say.

In October, PepsiCo launched its 2025 sustainability goals, which include reducing greenhouse gas emissions across its value chain and designing 100 percent of its packaging to be recoverable or recyclable.

Partnering with Danimer Scientific will speed up PepsiCo’s transition to using packaging that is completely biodegradable for its snack food portfolio by incorporating Nodax PHA bioplastic into its snacks packaging, the company says.

In addition to being biodegradable, this flexible film packaging is lightweight, which means it costs less — and emits fewer carbon emissions — to transport. This is one of the reasons flexible films are becoming an increasingly popular sustainable packaging option for food and beverage applications. Research and Market analysts forecast the global flexible packaging market for food and beverages to exceed $83 billion between 2016 and 2020.

Nodax PHA is a naturally occurring biopolymer produced by microbial bacteria as they ferment organically sourced oils. Produced using biomass, Nodax PHA is both sustainably sourced and a replacement material for many short-term use petroleum-based plastics, both performance- and price-wise, Danimer Scientific says.

Danimer Scientifics’ Nodax PHA in 2012 received the first-ever OK Marine Biodegradable certification from Vinçotte International, validating that the biopolymer safely biodegrades in salt water environments, leaving no toxins. The biopolymer also has seven Vinçotte certifications and statements of industrial and home compostability, biodegradability in anaerobic, soil, fresh water and marine environments and is FDA-approved for food contact.

These certifications are becoming increasingly important as labeling products “biodegradable” or “compostable” without proper certification can be a costly mistake — even a $1 million mistake, as Walmart found out earlier this month.

The retailer agreed to pay $1 million to settle claims that it sold plastic products that were misleadingly labeled, in violation of California law. California law that bans products labeled “biodegradable” and requires those labeled “compostable” to meet ASTM compostability standards.

Other states are following California’s lead, Resource Recycling reports.

As states adopt similar laws, “then certainly you’ll see cases being brought using that legislation,” Cary Oshins, associate director of the US Composting Council, told the magazine. The US Composting Council has written model legislation for regulating labels.


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