According to a recent report, PepsiCo is facing a lawsuit from the state of New York over the amount of plastic waste it produces. The lawsuit accuses the beverage giant of knowingly contributing to the plastic pollution crisis. PepsiCo is just one of the many huge corporations that have faced criticism for their environmentally damaging packaging materials over the years. With the increasing awareness of plastic waste and its effects on the environment, people are demanding changes from companies. But let’s look a little more closely at this current lawsuit against PepsiCo and what this means for the company and the wider public.
The Lawsuit Against PepsiCo
In the lawsuit filed mid-November, the state of New York accuses PepsiCo of polluting the environment and endangering public health. The lawsuit specifically states that the company’s use of single-use plastic bottles, caps, and wrappers is to blame for the toxic pollution affecting New Yorkers. This particular suit is the first of its kind, stemming from a state rather than an environmental organization.
According to New York Attorney General Letitia James, PepsiCo is directly responsible for “generating a significant share of plastic waste found in and near the upstate Buffalo River, including more than 17% of trash that could be readily traced to specific brands.”
James furthers her claims, stating that the company misled the public about its efforts to fight plastic pollution and further endangered consumers by withholding information related to the potential health and environmental hazards of plastics used across the company’s portfolio of more than 100 brands.
But James’ real concern? The breakdown of these plastics in the drinking water sources of millions across the state.
“All New Yorkers have a basic right to clean water, yet PepsiCo’s irresponsible packaging and marketing endanger Buffalo’s water supply, environment, and public health,” James said in a statement to media outlets.
PepsiCo has responded to the lawsuit by stating that it is committed to sustainability and has made progress in reducing its plastic use. The company has set a target of using 30% recycled content in its plastic packaging by 2030 and has introduced a range of new products with more sustainable packaging. However, according to the lawsuit, James and the rest of New York is not quite convinced.