As a part of its PepsiCo Positive (PEP+)sustainable initiative, beverage giant, PepsiCo India released its Pepsi Black soft drink in 100% recycled PET bottles(rPET) in India. Through the use of recycled packaging, PepsiCo India seeks to reinforce its sustainability image. The launch also aligns with the Indian Government’s Swatch Bharath Mission to improve cleanliness and improve solid waste management, and the increasingly stringent legislation in single-use plastics.

The company collaborated with its bottling partner, Varun Beverages, and Srichakra Polyplast, a recycling company to produce rPET bottles in India. Other home-grown consumer brands, such as Dabur, are also adopting recyclable packaging. Prior to PepsiCo, Coca-Cola India launched its water brand Kinley in 100% rPET bottles.

With more food and beverage companies embracing recyclable packaging, demand for rPET bottles will significantly increase in India. As a result, GlobalData forecasts that PET bottle consumption in the Indian soft drinks sector will surge by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.4% over 2023–2027#.

However, PET bottles made with virgin plastic are more cost-effective than recycled plastics. Moreover, present waste disposal and collection systems are inefficient, leading to a large proportion of disposed plastic bottles ending up in landfills and water bodies. Efficient circular economies and the development of more plastic recycling plants are pivotal for ensuring an adequate supply of recycled PET at economical prices to beverage packaging manufacturers.

Indian consumers are increasingly preferring brands that are incorporating sustainable packaging, owing to increasing awareness of ecological damage caused by plastic pollution. According to a recent GlobalData consumer survey, 43% of Indian consumers perceive recyclable packaging as an essential feature when making a purchase.

Therefore, with rising awareness of the advantages of sustainable packaging and government policy intervention, the usage of rPET by Indian beverage manufacturers will accelerate in the coming years.

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^GlobalData Q1 2023 Consumer Survey—India, published in May 2023
# GlobalData Consumer Intelligence Center—Market Analyzers, accessed in July 2023