If we truly care about the health of our campus community and care to uphold UC Berkeley’s reputation as a leader in sustainability, it’s time to start thinking about why a PepsiCo sponsorship does not meet our vision of fostering a sustainable, healthy campus for all.
At UC Berkeley, students are the target market for one of the world’s largest beverage corporations, PepsiCo. The drawstring bag or lanyard you received at Calapalooza? You’ve guessed it: prime real estate for PepsiCo marketing. Ultimately, you’re a walking advertisement for a corporation whose products are notoriously unhealthy and unsustainable.
The Bay Area is a national leader in paving the future for sustainability and health within the food systems. The city of Berkeley alone has a history of ongoing initiatives: one of the first national curbside recycling programs, the first city to pass a citywide sugar-sweetened beverage tax, and most recently, a reusable cup program to be implemented in September. Despite these efforts, UC Berkeley falls short in its sustainability in part because of its ties with PepsiCo.
As UC Berkeley approaches year nine of a 10-year pouring rights contract with PepsiCo, let’s reconsider whether we should pursue a renewal with the corporation or other similar corporations based on UC Berkeley’s principles of community.
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