Egypt is a strategic market for PepsiCo in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and the company has been operating in the country for 70 years, said Eugene Willemsen the PepsiCo’s CEO for Middle East and Africa.
Willemsen made the comments during a press conference held on Tuesday to launch the ‘Recycle for Tomorrow’ waste management platform, in cooperation with Egypt’s Ministry of the Environment, which aims to deal with solid waste through recycling.
“We trust that there is an opportunity to change how the world produces, distributes, consumes and disposes of food and beverage, which comes in line with our ambitious vision of creating a world where packaging never becomes waste. We are proud of PepsiCo Egypt that it launched one of the most unique platforms Recycle for Tomorrow, which contributes to helping Egypt in applying the circular economy concept. We can only achieve positive impact on society and the environment through engaging the private sector, the government, and NGOs,” Willemsen said.
During the event, chairman and CEO of PepsiCo Egypt Mohamed Shelbaya said that Egypt generates 103 million tonnes of plastic waste per year, ranking seventh globally.
He added that the Recycle for Tomorrow initiative is the first of its kind in Egypt and it targets recycling eight million kg of plastic waste, produced by PepsiCo, by the end of 2021 with EGP 10 million for the first phase.
Shelbaya added that from 2018 to early 2020, the company provided over $65 million globally in partnership initiatives, with a focus on some of the areas with the poorest infrastructure and the highest risk in contributing to plastic pollution.
Moreover, by 2025, PepsiCo is planning to have 100 percent of its packaging be recyclable, compostable, or biodegradable and to reduce 35 percent of its virgin plastic content across its beverage portfolio, according to Shelbaya.
“This platform is an effective step towards raising the awareness of the Egyptian citizen about the importance of waste management and the risks of plastic waste. In addition, the platform implements on-the-ground projects that aim at attaining a more sustainable environment, as well as creating positive change in Egyptian society, as one of the country's endeavours is to develop infrastructure for the waste management system,” he explained.