PepsiCo’s Lay’s RePlay creates sustainable football pitches for communities around the world by transforming empty chip packs into places to play
When is a bag of chips more than a bag of chips? Lay’s RePlay is giving chip packs an extraordinary second life — as sustainable football pitches.
In partnership with the UEFA Foundation for children and NGO streetfootballworld, PepsiCo has launched a global initiative to transform its brand’s empty chip bags into sustainable artificial turf fields (aka football pitches).
The first to be unveiled this year in Tembisa, South Africa is now open for matches and community programs. Lay’s RePlay pitches in Russia, Turkey, Brazil and the UK are planned to follow.
“Providing people with joy one chip and one bag at a time is at the heart of our brand,” says Sebnem Erim, VP of Marketing, Global Foods, PepsiCo. “We are working with local partners to build spaces and programs that can deliver positive impact and change for generations to come.”
Each field is created with a shock-absorbing layer called Ecocept, which is formed when reclaimed chip packs are converted into rubberised pellets. (For South Africa, more than three million chip packages were used to create the pitch.)
Both the turf and the Ecocept layer are 100% recyclable, with each pitch producing up to 128 tons fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a standard synthetic pitch. That’s equivalent to taking up to 27 cars off the road for one whole year.
In keeping with the spirit of a game that draws people together, Lay’s RePlay involves the community at every step of the way. Community members work on the planning, construction and maintenance of each pitch.
And PepsiCo’s long-term vision is to develop programming that goes beyond the field, with activities like EduFootball’s teamwork and job training sessions in South Africa to empower youth, promote inclusivity and develop key life skills. In the first year alone, the efforts aim to benefit 16,000 people and provide over 3,600 hours of play.
Lay’s RePlay also builds on PepsiCo’s longstanding partnership with the UEFA Champions League. The initiative grew out of a 2017 collaboration between Lay’s and the UEFA Foundation for children that created three pitches in Jordan’s Za’atari and Azraq Refugee Camps, giving 35,000 people access to football.
“I was lucky enough to start playing football at a young age and it transformed my life,” says Lionel Messi, a longtime global Lay’s ambassador and six-time Ballon d’Or winner. “Everyone deserves the chance to play and fall in love with the sport, and Lay’s RePlay is giving communities across the world that opportunity.”