Frito-Lay and Quaker have announced the opening of a Greenhouse Learning Center at its R&D headquarters, where compostable packaging will be put under a microscope: tested, measured and analysed, all with the aim of speeding up the rate of innovation.
The facility represent a key milestone to achieve the company’s PepsiCo Positive (pep+) packaging goal to design 100% of packaging to be recyclable, compostable, biodegradable or reusable by 2025.
“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 prioritising, investing in and expediting projects to build a more circular, inclusive economy.”
The R&D packaging team will use the Greenhouse Learning Center to test the biodegradation properties of compostable packaging in different environments to gain key insights and validate lab results through real-time experiments as packaging formulations are improved.
It intends to enable packaging products to move from the testing process to certification-ready at least two to three times faster in an effort to drive the company and industry forward. It is located next to and complements the existing prototyping lab where compostable packaging is ‘born’.
The R&D team at Frito-Lay and Quaker has been conducting research and forming strategic partnerships for many years to improve the packaging process. After releasing 100% commercially compostable chip bags in 2010, the two businesses are continuing to look to evolve its compostable packaging.
“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 organisation 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.”
Building on learnings gathered from the launch of Off The Eaten Path’s commercially compostable packaging, the company introduced other options made from 85% renewable plant materials producing 60% lower GHG emissions compared with conventional snack bags. Moving forward, the company will focus on home-compostable packaging and biodegradable packaging, where research conducted at the Greenhouse will play a key role.
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