PepsiCo-owned snacks brand Lay’s opened the first Lay’s RePlay field in the US, in Santa Ana, CA, on April 19. It’s the sixth to open worldwide as part of a program that creates sustainable soccer fields from used Lay's Potato Chip bags to drive positive outcomes for people and the planet in deserving communities.
Recycled bags are washed, shredded, and converted into an underlying layer. That layer is designed to be recycled at the end of its expected 10-year lifespan.
According to a study by the UCLA Center for Neighborhood Knowledge, the Hispanic community was one of the hardest impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, both on a health and economic level. The field, located at Cesar Chavez Campesino Park in Santa Ana, was selected by Lay's and Lay's RePlay global partners UEFA Foundation for Children and Common Goal for its rich Hispanic heritage with the goal of providing affordable access to soccer programming and education.
"As a UEFA ambassador, I am proud to be a voice for Lay's RePlay," says Mia Hamm, FIFA World Cup champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist. "Having access to community gathering spaces and safe playing fields must be a top priority for young people across the world. Soccer continues to see incredible growth, and with the Hispanic community being the fastest growing segment of our population — and arguably the most passionate about the game — beginning the Lay's RePlay U.S. expansion in a key area like Santa Ana is a powerful moment."
"The pipeline for healthy lives in the Hispanic community expands greatly when you have access to quality fields and equipment, and the Lay's RePlay program is a game-changer," says Major League Soccer player and LA Galaxy striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernández. "As someone who lives and plays in Southern California, I'm looking forward to seeing the joy this field brings to families across the area."
The Santa Ana field opens in partnership with the City of Santa Ana and Pure Game, a local non-profit that teaches children life skills through mentorship and sports-based character education.
Lay's RePlay program to create beautiful soccer fields with packaging support launched in 2021.
"Since 2021, Lay's RePlay has had the privilege of creating beautiful soccer fields and programming to share with deserving communities across the globe,” says Ciara Dilley, PepsiCo's vice president of marketing for global food brands. “From South Africa, Brazil, and Mexico to the United Kingdom, we've been able to see the tremendous impact this program brings to aspiring athletes and families around the world, uniting people through a common love of soccer, and providing a safe space to foster togetherness and minimizing our impact on the earth. We are honored to be able to play such a significant role in furthering the soccer journeys of young people here in the community of Santa Ana with the launch of our first Lay's RePlay soccer field in the US!”
The previous five Lay's RePlay field were installed in South Africa, Brazil, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Mexico. The fields have been used 25,000 times by those underserved communities with access to the beloved sport and state-of-the-art soccer fields since the program's launch.
The joint program delivered three Lay's RePlay artificial soccer fields in the Za'atari and Azraq Refugee Camps in 2017 and 2018 and have since provided 35,000 people access to the sport.
"Lay's has been such an incredible partner to work with over the years and we are thrilled to support bringing the Lay's RePlay program into the U.S.," says Urs Kluser, general secretary for UEFA Foundation for Children. "Through our partnership, we are able to put our best resources forward and work together to gather communities around the world through the joy of the sport."