PepsiCo and Ocean Conservancy, in the lead up to Super Bowl LIV in Miami, partnered on a series of beach cleanups around the United States. The first cleanup will be held at Oleta River State Park on Saturday, February 1, with singer Ally Brooke and country music duo LOCASH.
“We need all hands on deck to tackle ocean plastic pollution, and we are thrilled to have PepsiCo join Team Ocean and help engage more people and volunteers in the fight,” said Janis Searles Jones, CEO of Ocean Conservancy. “Plastic pollution is one of the most visceral and visual threats facing the ocean, and we know from three decades of mobilizing the International Coastal Cleanup that nothing changes hearts and minds like coming face-to-face with the issue at a beach cleanup. Our hope is that we can leverage PepsiCo’s incredible reach to make real change.”
“At PepsiCo, we envision a world where plastic never becomes waste, and that requires both urgent action and collaboration,” said Simon Lowden, Chief Sustainability Officer, PepsiCo. “As one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies, we recognize the responsibility we have to be part of the solution and partnering with Ocean Conservancy is an exciting opportunity to drive progress in these communities and beyond.”
PepsiCo recently announced that bubly will be packaged exclusively in aluminum cans and that Aquafina is being tested in cans this year with select U.S. retailers. The company’s premium water brand LIFEWTR will also be made from 100% recycled plastic in the U.S. These examples build on PepsiCo’s publicly stated targets to, by 2025, reduce virgin plastic content across its beverage business by 35% and make all of its packaging 100% recyclable, compostable or biodegradable. Since July 2018, the company pledged over $51 million to global partnerships designed to boost recycling rates to support a circular economy. Hundreds of recycling bins have been placed throughout Miami this week and the PepsiCo Recycling Roadster will be in town to inform people about the importance of recycling.
In addition to today’s partnership announcement, through the PepsiCo Foundation, PepsiCo has been active in supporting Ocean Conservancy’s work through Circulate Capital, an investment firm solely dedicated to financing plastic waste collection and recycling projects in parts of the world most impacted by the ocean plastic crisis. The series of cleanups is an opportunity to bring this behind-the-scenes work to the forefront and engage the public in ocean conservation.
Ocean Conservancy is the official Ocean Partner of the Miami Super Bowl Host Committee and its Ocean to Everglades (O2E) initiative, and in September 2019 launched the #SuperCleanupChallenge to divert or remove 54 tons of plastic and other trash from Florida-area beaches in the lead up to the big game. Saturday’s cleanup efforts will go toward the 54-ton tally, and 50 local consumers will collect litter alongside Ally Brooke, LOCASH, employees, government officials and other special guests.
“I’m so excited to be a part of #TeamOcean and to be joining PepsiCo and Ocean Conservancy to help leave Florida a little cleaner than when I arrived,” said Ally Brooke. “I’ve learned that everyone has a role to play in the fight against ocean plastics, and encourage all my fans to learn more at jointeamocean.org.”
Scientists estimate that 8 million metric tons of plastics flow into the ocean every year, either because they are never collected, or not properly contained. Since 1986, some 15 million volunteers with Ocean Conservancy’s annual International Coastal Cleanup have removed more than 300 million pounds of trash from beaches and waterways around the world.