Lay’s® has united with the UEFA Foundation for children, streetfootballworld, and local partners AMANDLA, the South African Football Association, and the City of Ekurhuleni to reuse empty chip packs to help create sustainable football pitches – uniting communities and driving positive outcomes for people and the planet. This is part of Lay’s new global initiative, Lay’s RePlay, to bring joy to deserving communities around the world through the power of football – starting in Tembisa.
‘As South Africans, we know how powerful sport can be in bringing people together, something we, as PepsiCo, have fostered for decades,’ says Tertius Carstens, CEO of PepsiCo Sub-Saharan Africa. ‘This Lay’s RePlay pitch now provides the youth in Tembisa a place to come together, share joy and burn off some energy – while bringing a positive impact to our community and our planet.’
Up to five Lay’s RePlay football pitches are expected to open in 2021 around the world, with the first in Tembisa, followed by communities in Russia, Brazil, Turkey, and the UK.
With the potential of more than 3600 hours of play and educational-sporting programmes benefiting over 16,000 members of the community in the first year alone, Lay’s RePlay places strong emphasis on including community members and local organisations throughout the planning, construction and maintenance phases of each pitch, with the goal to develop programming that can address social issues impacting each community, while promoting safe access to the sport.
In South Africa, for example, the local programming, managed by NPO partner, AMANDLA, looks to empower youth, promote inclusivity, and share key life skills and pro-social behaviours with EduFootball sessions.
‘We’ve seen how football and sport can create the foundation to engage youth in holistic development,’ said Florian Zech, Founder and Managing Director of AMANDLA. ‘By working together and supporting Lay’s RePlay, we believe that regular, consistent and sustained participation of young people in our programmes will enable participants to make better life choices.’
Lay’s has longstanding ties in the football community and is an official partner of the Men’s UEFA Champions League and UEFA Women’s football.
‘The true power of the sport sits in the values such as patience, respect, discipline and determination that it instils, while teaching our youth to come together through teamwork, which I believe is invaluable in empowering communities far beyond the pitch,’ said former Bafana and Leeds Captain and UEFA Foundation for children Ambassador, Lucas Radebe. ‘I’ve already seen the joy it created in the short-term, and I’m excited about the impact it can have on the next generation over time.’
Lay’s RePlay pitches maximise social value, while minimising environmental impact. From the materials making the pitch to the installation, the pitches are designed to be as environmentally sustainable as possible. In partnership with GreenFields, a global artificial pitch manufacturer, the empty Lay’s chip packs are collected from local waste and recycling partnerships and given a second life – shredded and converted into pellets that form the underlying layer beneath the turf, called Ecocept™. Both the turf and Ecocept™ layer are 100% recyclable at the end of their life span. Beyond the turf, Lay’s has committed to adopt a carbon compensation strategy that will ensure all pitches deliver a net zero carbon footprint over their life spans of an estimated 10 years.
This global initiative and commitment by Lay’s has been verified by independent consultancy, Good Business, with an in-depth study finding that Lay’s RePlay pitches have a significantly lower environmental impact than alternative artificial pitches across several areas, including: reduced greenhouse gas emissions, microplastic pollution, recyclable material and turf, ecological disturbance, and water usage.
The brand launches Lay’s RePlay as a progression of the artificial pitches it developed with the UEFA Foundation for children in Jordan’s Za’atari and Azraq Refugee Camps in 2017 and 2018, which have since provided 35,000 people with access to the sport.