Both soft drink companies are trying to increase the amount of recycled plastic they use in bottles. They want to improve the recycling infrastructure and ensure that their packaging is recyclable.
The association took positions that "did not fully comply with our commitments and goals," Coca-Cola said in a statement last week, noting that he retired from the group earlier this year. Pepsi said it had joined the association to learn more about innovation as it was meant to create "a circular economy for plastics".
"We are not participating in the political lobbying of the association or its affiliates, and our membership will end at the end of this year," Pepsi said.
Coke and Pepsi "made the wrong choice" by being part of the lobby organization, said Dianna Cohen, CEO of the non-profit Plastic Pollution Coalition. The look of the membership was "really bad".
The cut in relations with the plastics industry association is a sign that "companies understand that they can not say publicly that they want to end the plastic pollution while they do Financial support for our association We continue to rely on disposable plastics, "said John Hocevar, head of Greenpeace USA's Oceans campaign, in a statement.
The move can help calm some customers. However, with people increasingly concerned about the negative impact of plastic pollution on the environment and on human and animal health, companies like Pepsi and Coke need to go further to find a solution.
Combating Plastic Pollution
Both companies are trying to find ways to reduce the use of new plastics and increase recycling. They are also looking for alternatives to plastics such as aluminum, which are easier to recycle.
"Combating plastic garbage is one of my top priorities and I take that challenge personally," said PepsiCo CEO Ramon Laguarta at the time , "We help tackle the problem directly by reducing, recycling and reinventing our packaging." Pepsi is committed to using exclusively recyclable, compostable or biodegradable packaging by 2025 and is committed to producing new plastic bottles of 25% recycled content.
Companies are also investigating refill stations where disposable packaging is no longer needed.
Leaving the lobby
These initiatives made membership in the plastics trading group problematic, at least from a PR perspective. The Association of the Plastics Industry is not just a lobby group. Some of his initiatives, such as recycling support, may overlap those of Coke and Pepsi.
"Our members are working together to bring their efforts to bring recycling and sustainability to the forefront of their business," said Patty Long, Interim President and CEO of the Plastics Industry Association, in a statement that Pepsi and other companies are leaving Group last year.
The Plastics Association said Greenpeace was responsible for the withdrawal of the companies from the group.
"We are aware that several well-known brands that are members of the association have been pressured by an ongoing Greenpeace campaign to leave our club," Long said, calling the efforts "unfortunate."
– Jackie Wattles of CNN Business has contributed to this report.