Pepsi buys SodaStream

Pepsi and Coke are both trying to muscle in on the health-conscious beverage market, as sugary drinks are losing some favour with shoppers.

Coca-Cola (view company ethical profile) has bought Costa Coffee and recently introduced the UK to the low-calorie ice tea brand Fuze Tea, along with Honest Coffee, an extension of its Honest Tea range, and AdeZ, a range of dairy alternative smoothies.

Meanwhile, Pepsi (view company ethical profile) has bought fizzy water maker SodaStream.

Pepsi said the transaction is another step in its efforts to “[promote] health and wellness through environmentally friendly, cost-effective and fun-to-use beverage solutions. Together with SodaStream, I’m confident we can accelerate progress on our shared goal of curbing plastic waste and building a more sustainable future”.

Buying SodaStream means a move away from single-use plastic bottles, which is good.

However:

  • Pepsi still makes loads of money from fizzy drinks in single use plastic bottles
  • SodaStream is currently under a boycott call for its complicity in Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights in the occupied territories.

Since at least 2011, the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, or BDS – a pro-Palestinian campaign, had been calling for a boycott against SodaStream for operating its main factory in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

SodaStream ultimately closed its West Bank factory in 2015 and moved to a larger plant in the Negev Desert.

However, BDS proponents still oppose SodaStream as they claim that the firm’s current facility “is actively complicit in Israel’s policy of displacing the indigenous Bedouin Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Negev.”

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