March 14, 2011 / 10:12 PM / 6 years ago

PepsiCo looks to reuse plant waste

CHICAGO (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N) is working on ways to reuse waste like oat husks and orange peels, to save money in its supply chain, in areas such as packaging.

The company, whose products include Frito-Lay snacks, Quaker oatmeal and Tropicana orange juice, is looking at how to reuse wasted cellulose fiber, said its chief scientific officer, Mehmood Khan.

"If you could take cellulose today and convert that cellulose to packaging, think of the impact that you would have on the costs of other commodities," Khan told the Reuters Food and Agriculture Summit on Monday.

"We've actually invested a lot of thought, resources and focus on addressing the question" of how to reuse the massive amounts of wasted plant matter in its supply chain, including from oranges, oats and corn, Khan said.

"If we could harness that cellulose into a variety of parts of our supply chain, we actually start to disrupt the cost structure of our business," he said.

Khan declined to provide specifics about the company's plans.

Rival Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) is already using a plastic bottle made partially from plant matter. Late last month, HJ Heinz Co HNZ.N said it would start using Coke's "plant bottle."

Earlier on Monday Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc (DPS.N) Chief Executive Larry Young said he had looked at Coke's plant bottle.

Reporting by Martinne Geller, editing by Matthew Lewis

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