Keurig Dr Pepper (KDP), Burlington, Mass., and Plano, Texas, announced that its Snapple and CORE brands are transitioning to bottles made of 100 percent recycled (rPET) plastic. This move will eliminate approximately 46.3 million pounds of virgin plastic used by KDP annually, based on 2019 volumes, the company says.

Snapple now is available in 100 percent recycled plastic 16-ounce bottles in markets on West Coast. The brand will continue to roll out in phases across the country through early next year. In addition, with production underway, CORE bottles made from 100 percent recycled plastic will be on shelves beginning in early 2021, it says.

"Transitioning to recycled plastic bottles for two of our key brands is a critical next step in Keurig Dr Pepper's commitment to a circular economy," said Monique Oxender, chief sustainability officer of KDP, in a statement. "This important portfolio evolution enables us to offer consumers their favorite beverages, while meeting their desire for more sustainable packaging."

Across KDP's portfolio of more than 125 brands, 20 percent of the materials used in packaging currently is made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) content, it says. Transitioning to recycled plastic in Snapple and CORE bottles will increase that total by approximately four percentage points, moving the company closer to achieving its goal of 30 percent PCR packaging across its portfolio by 2025.

Recycled plastic bottles help to lower greenhouse gas emissions by about 30 percent compared with virgin plastic, the company says. Switching to recycled plastic for Snapple and CORE is the equivalent of taking 7,500 cars off the road for one year, saving 35,000 metric tons of emissions from going into the environment. These efforts also will contribute to KDP's new climate targets approved by the Science Based Targets initiative.

Each Snapple and CORE rPET bottle will feature a How2Recycle label, an industry-leading standardized labeling system that clearly communicates recycling instructions to consumers. The introduction of rPET bottles supports the company's commitment to the American Beverage Association's Every Bottle Back initiative, a recycling modernization program that includes a collective beverage company investment of $100 million to reduce use of new plastic by increasing the amount of recycled plastic available to be remade into new bottles in the United States, it adds.