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PURCHASE, N.Y. -- PepsiCo Inc. will begin selling Aquafina in a lighter bottle, accelerating efforts by bottled water sellers to be more eco-friendly.
The Purchase, N.Y.-based beverage company said it will save 75 million pounds of plastic a year with its Eco-Fina bottle, which weighs 10.9 grams and uses 20 percent less plastic than its current bottle. The company said it is the lightest half-liter bottle of any bottled water sold in the U.S., according to a report by The Associated Press.
Consumers have cut back on bottled water purchases, in part because of environmental concerns about the waste created by the bottles, and the energy used to transport them. Bottled water sales fell 0.4 percent in 2008, according to Beverage Digest.
The lighter bottle is part of PepsiCo's effort to make its business more energy-efficient. It has set a goal of using 25 percent less fuel and 20 percent less water and energy by 2015. It will begin making Aquafina bottles at its water purification centers, which eliminates transportation costs, and will get rid of extra cardboard from its 24-packs.
PepsiCo, the world's second-biggest drinks maker, is among the leading sellers of bottled water along with Coca-Cola Co., which sells bottled water under the Dasani brand, and Nestle Waters North America, which sells Poland Spring, Deer Park and others.
Nestle Waters North America has engineered lighter bottles for years, and had a 12.5-gram Eco-Shape half-liter bottle as of May 2008. It is contoured to keep its shape with less plastic, the AP reported.
PepsiCo also sells Pepsi-Cola, Mountain Dew, Gatorade and Tropicana, as well as Frito-Lay snacks and Quaker oatmeal. In beverages, its bigger rival is Coke.
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