Multinational food company PepsiCo has invested £14m ($15.8m) in food packaging solutions that are expected to remove 250t of virgin plastic from its supply chain a year.

 The company is replacing the outer plastic packaging of its Walkers 22-bag and 24-bag multipacks with a cardboard design.

The packaging was previously trialled with supermarket chain Tesco and will be rolled out to all major supermarkets in the UK over the coming weeks.

In addition, PepsiCo is investing in a stretch film to wrap around its pallets before they are distributed to retailers.

The film is produced with nanotechnology and features tiny air bubbles to reduce plastic use without compromising the strength and stretch required to protect food while transporting.

The new technology is claimed to reduce virgin plastic usage by 40% a year compared with the previously used films, as well as cut the company’s carbon emissions by 465tpa.

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The investment is part of PepsiCo’s wider commitment to eliminating virgin fossil-based plastic from its crisp and snack bags across Europe by 2030.

Under its PepsiCo Positive plan, the company is also planning to pilot new solutions such as recycled plastic packaging for snack bags in the UK.

Pepsico UK & Ireland sustainable packaging director Simon Devaney said: “We are constantly exploring new scalable solutions and this investment marks an important step forward, delivering a huge reduction in virgin plastic across some of our best-selling ranges while also helping to tackle our carbon footprint.

“Reducing virgin plastic across our supply chain is a key part of our commitment to creating a world where packaging never becomes waste.”

Earlier this year, PepsiCo Beverages North America (PBNA), a division of PepsiCo, secured its first plastic-free pouring rights deal with the Miami Beach City Commission.

As Miami’s exclusive water and soft drink sponsor, PBNA is serving packaged water and soda in aluminium packaging.