As the war on plastic rages on, global giants are starting to show signs of panic according to a report released by leading analytics company GlobalData. Never has an example of this been more paramount than with PepsiCo’s recent acquisition of SodaStream. The purchase of the Israel-based at home soda company amounted to the significant price of $3.2 billion which is estimated to be a one-third premium over the carbonated drink machine maker’s 30-day volume weighted average price.

The purchase of SodaStream will help to establish PepsiCo’s position in the reduction of plastic trend. SodaStream has been railing against plastic waste almost since it came into existence. The company estimates that one refillable SodaStream bottle can prevent one family from using and discarding more than 3,700 cans and plastic bottles.

‘‘Rumours have been flying about PepsiCo buying SodaStream for years, but two key factors turned those rumours into reality on August 20th. Firstly, the beverage industry has no real answer for the war on plastic. Metal can packaging works well for single-serve soft drinks, but is not practical or economical for larger-size packages that must be resealed. And second, bottled water has ‘won the war’ over carbonated soft drinks and there is no turning back from here.,” said Tom Vierhile Innovation Insights Director at GlobalData.

According to GlobalData, worldwide per capita consumption of packaged water passed that of carbonated soft drinks (CSDs) in 2015 when the average consumer downed 31.6 litres of packaged water versus 31 litres of CSDs. The gap between the two has widened since, as consumers continue to move away from sugary drinks. GlobalData forecasts that per capita packaged water consumption will hit 34.6 litres in 2017 versus 29.9 litres per capita for CSDs.

The war on plastic is becoming more volatile by the day. Vierhile explained that ‘‘Single-use plastic straws went from a non-issue to crisis in just a few weeks. The same could happen with plastic beverage packaging. China’s near-ban on imports of scrap plastic recycling waste this year is a ticking time bomb for a beverage industry which lacks viable alternatives.’’

A survey conducted by GlobalData in 2018 revealed that 35 percent of global consumers said that they would buy more products packaged without any plastic at all or buy products like this more often. And with age support for plastic free options rise, with 47 percent of people aged over 65 supportive of the plastic-free plans.

PepsiCo could potentially use SodaStream as a test platform for new initiatives including sweeteners and customised sugar levels, as well as online innovations like Amazon’s Dash Replenishment Technology.