Loop Industries Inc., a leading technology innovator in sustainable plastic based in Montréal, QC, and PepsiCo Inc. have entered into a multi-year supply agreement that will enable PepsiCo to purchase production capacity from Loop’s joint-venture facility in the United States. It will incorporate Loop PET, which is 100% recycled material, into its product packaging by early 2020, when the company’s first commercial plant will be commissioned.
Founded in 2015, Loop Industries developed what it calls a revolutionary and innovative method to depolymerize PET and upcycle high-purity waste from feedstocks such as polyester fibers from carpets and clothing and colored, opaque and even ocean plastics. Loop’s patented zero-energy process breaks down waste plastic into its monomers—mono ethylene glycol (MEG) and dimethyl terephthalate (DMT). Without using heat or pressure, the monomers are purified removing all solid waste and contamination such as coloring, additives and organic and inorganic impurities. The purified DMT and MEG are repolymerized into Loop-branded virgin-quality PET plastic that meets FDA requirements for food-grade packaging.
On Sept. 24, 2018, Indorama Ventures (Bangkok, Thailand) entered into a 50/50 joint venture with Loop to invest in a multi-billion dollar sustainable PET resin and polyester market opportunity to meet demand from companies seeking to adopt a circular economy model.
As one of the largest purchasers of recycled PET plastic in the consumer goods space, PepsiCo has identified Loop PET as a commercially viable technology to expand the amount of recycled content in its product packaging and help meet its sustainability ambitions and consumer needs. This agreement with PepsiCo’s Performance with Purpose vision highlights the company’s commitment to adopt different and creative approaches to the challenges of plastics and waste, it said.
“Loop's technology enables PepsiCo to be a leading force in ensuring plastic packaging need never become waste,” said Dr. Mehmood Khan, Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer, PepsiCo. “This partnership represents a step-change that will empower PepsiCo in our drive toward creating a circular economy for plastics.”
Nelson Switzer, Chief Growth Officer for Loop Industries, commented to PlasticsToday that Loop has “identified ample supply for our needs and the needs of our clients,” when asked about the supply chain for the new agreement with PepsiCo. “One of the reasons we are able to do this readily is because we can use feedstock others cannot, such as opaques, fines and even degraded ocean plastics, carpet fiber and textiles,” Switzer explained. “Presently we are securing feedstock from a variety of sources, including waste management companies, mechanical rPET producers and so on. The supply is diverse and robust, and a key strength of our technology.”
Daniel Solomita, founder and CEO of Loop Industries, commented, “We are very proud to supply PepsiCo with Loop-branded PET plastic. Working with a global food and beverage giant like PepsiCo will further establish the value proposition of the Loop brand and mission—to accelerate the world’s shift toward sustainable plastic and away from the traditional take, make and dispose economy.”
The deal will also include marketing and communications plans to raise awareness of the importance of recycling, sustainability and the circular economy.