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PepsiCo, UEFA to continue sustainability drive at Champions League finals

Featured image credit: Michielverbeek/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size

PepsiCo has announced a number of sustainability initiatives around this year’s men’s and women’s Champions League finals as part of its continued partnership with UEFA, football’s European governing body.

PepsiCo and UEFA are aiming to achieve the goal of making Champions League finals “zero waste to landfill” by 2026 through the company’s Pepsi, Lay’s, Doritos and Gatorade brands.

During last year’s men’s Champions League final at the Stade de France in Paris, UEFA and PepsiCo began carrying out circular economy practices centred around the 4Rs Framework outlined in the governing body’s sustainability strategy.

The 4Rs Framework covered initiatives to reduce, reuse, recycle and recover materials. During last year’s match between Liverpool and Real Madrid, data was collected and analysed to define a baseline for improvement actions that would form the basis of UEFA’s guidelines for circular economy in food and beverage at football matches.

This year’s men’s Champions League final will take place between Manchester City and Inter Milan at Istanbul’s Atatürk Olympic Stadium on June 10, while the women’s final between Barcelona and Wolfsburg will be held at Philips Stadion in Eindhoven on June 3.

At the games, PepsiCo and UEFA will implement circular economy practices centred around the 3Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle) to minimise the impact of football on the environment and drive resource efficiencies.

The finals will feature fully recyclable, zero plastic and biodegradable fibre cups. The women’s final will also be the first to implement returnable packaging for food and drinks.

Fans attending the match can purchase drinks from 52,000 400ml transparent cups, with a returnable deposit of €2. Along with the cups, Doritos nachos will be served in returnable trays throughout Philips Stadion.

At the men’s final in Istanbul, PepsiCo is partnering with TURN, a scalable reuse system that uses smart technology to remove single-use plastic, to house 48,000 TURN smart cups and bin operations at Champion’s Festival sampling stands.

All PepsiCo food and beverage packaging supplied at events throughout the finals will be 100% recyclable. Atatürk Olympic Stadium will also include 220 recycling bins for diligent waste sorting following the event.

Archana Jagannathan, PepsiCo’s chief sustainability officer in Europe, said: “As one of the world’s most respected food and beverage companies, PepsiCo is continuously aiming to use its reach and influence to change the way society makes, uses and disposes of packaging.

“We are honoured to play a key role in both the men’s and women’s UEFA Champions League Finals. It is a privilege to use football as a vehicle to drive positive change on and off the pitch, whilst still providing fans with an unforgettable experience.”

Michele Uva, UEFA’s social and environmental sustainability director, added: “UEFA is delighted to continue the collaboration with PepsiCo to deploy circular economy practices across these two important finals. Our actions are focused on finding and disseminating solutions applicable to football matches taking place across national associations, leagues and clubs in Europe to play our part in tackling environmental challenges.”

PepsiCo has been a partner of the Champions League since 2015.