RIYADH — Aquafina, PepsiCo’s brand of purified bottled water, continues its campaign to recycle plastic waste by participating in Dakar Rally Saudi Arabia 2020 as an official partner. The 7,500 km race was kicked off in Jeddah on 5th January 2020.
The race includes a large space of mountains, deserts and valleys to finally end in Al Qiddiyah, near Riyadh on January 17, 2020. Dakar Rally is one of the most challenging races globally due to the high competition between the participants who face rough terrains and harsh weather without using any navigational devices.
As the official hydration partner, Aquafina is supplying more than 265,000 water to the competitors and event attendees, from the start event to the finish line, as well at all the resting stations along the way.
In cooperation with Naqaa – Aquafina’s sustainable solutions partner – 80 recycling stations were distributed at the start event this weekend in Jeddah and will be present again at the end of the race. The collected plastic will be sorted, recovered and baled at the material recovery facility. Naqaa will be supplying a daily dashboard with statistics to track progress on environment impact. And to encourage the attendants to participate with this initiative, Aquafina installed 4 state-of-the art machines that will reward people for recycling their water bottles with different prizes.
On this occasion, Eli Bou Akel, Senior Franchise Director in PepsiCo, said: “The kingdom shares a deep enthusiasm for motorsports and welcoming the Dakar Rally to the vast, unexplored terrain of Saudi Arabia is a major achievement for the country. In partnership with Naqaa, we’re proud to be part of this milestone to keep competitors and spectators hydrated with Aquafina water during the epic 7,500 kilometers of the race. Most importantly, we continue to be driven by PepsiCo’s ‘Winning with Purpose’ agenda and are committed to recycling as much plastic bottles as possible responsibly alongside the organizers of Dakar Rally 2020.”
“Last month at Formulae E Championship in Diriyah, PepsiCo was proud to lead a successful recycling initiative, where we recycled more than 2,500Kg of plastic. We look forward to building on this foundation with Dakar Rally 2020 in Saudi,” he noted.
Naqaa, which has a proven track record for environmental solutions, believes its contribution will help make Dakar Rally Saudi Arabia 2020 the most eco-friendly edition yet.
Naqaa’s Co-founder and Sustainability Consultant Muna Othman, commented, “We are proud of the distinguished partnership with PepsiCo, as this cooperation resulted in outstanding results in the field of recycling in events held in the Kingdom.”
As part of PepsiCo’s “Winning with Purpose Strategy”, the company aims to reduce 35% of virgin plastic content across its beverage business by 2025, which is the equivalent of eliminating 2.5 million metric tons of cumulative virgin plastic. PepsiCo is also committed to designing 100% of packaging to be recyclable, compostable or biodegradable; increasing recycled content in its plastics packaging to 25%; and investing so that recycling rates are increased in key markets all by 2025.
PepsiCo has led the way in pioneering sound environmental practices, and continues to improve its rigorous 7-step purification process as well as its approach in the design and construction of bottles and packaging.