New York Sues PepsiCo Over Plastic Pollution

The New York State Attorney General, Letitia James, has launched a significant lawsuit against PepsiCo for its role in plastic pollution.

Filed in Erie County, this groundbreaking legal action targets the beverage and snack giant for excessive pollution, primarily due to its single-use plastic products, posing serious environmental and public health risks​​.

James emphasized that no corporation should compromise environmental and public health. The lawsuit aims to enforce PepsiCo to clean up contamination and pay for damages, particularly affecting Buffalo River and its surroundings​​​​.

Environmental Impact and Public Response

Findings by Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper (BNW) show a concerning trend: 78% of the waste collected from 2013 to 2022 was plastic, with a significant portion identifiable as PepsiCo products. BNW’s 2022 collection found 17% of plastic litter to be PepsiCo branded​​​​.

PepsiCo, headquartered in Westchester County, NY, manufactures numerous beverage and snack brands, mostly in single-use plastic packaging.

The lawsuit accuses the company of misleading the public regarding its plastic recycling effectiveness and using more virgin plastics, raising serious environmental concerns​​.

Health Concerns and Environmental Hazards

The lawsuit highlights the dangers of microplastics, known to cause various health issues, including reproductive dysfunction and neurotoxic effects.

These microplastics have infiltrated Buffalo’s water supply, raising alarms about potential health risks to the local population​​.

Jill Jedlicka of BNW stresses the significance of this lawsuit in holding producers accountable for environmental damage. PepsiCo, on the other hand, emphasizes its commitment to plastic reduction and recycling, indicating the complexity of the issue and the need for collective action​​.

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