US – US Snack and Food Company Mondelēz has doubled down on its efforts to become more eco-friendly with a new pledge to reduce its use of virgin plastic in rigid plastic packaging by at least 25% by 2025.
To achieve this target, Mondelēz said it planned to eliminate plastic material, increase its use of recycled content and adopt reuse models for its product portfolio.
Mondelez’s new plastic packaging goals expand on the company’s promise to become more eco-friendly in the coming years.
The company says it is close to hitting its earlier goal to use 5% recycled content by weight in all of its plastic packaging and to design all packaging for recyclability by 2025.
According to Mondelez, 94% of its packaging is already designed to be recycled.
Reducing the use of virgin plastics is however a better route towards achieving carbon neutrality as it removes the need to create new materials which might end up in landfills or in worse scenario in water bodies.
It also promotes the adoption of a closed-loop system where all plastic materials in the environment are in active use.
Mondelez pledge to reduce use new plastic puts it in step with announcements by other large food and beverage manufacturer
Coca-Cola is reducing its use of new plastic by 20% compared to 2018, and Nestlé is spending $2.1 billion to shift from virgin plastic packaging to food-grade recycled products.
A call for “reasonable” federal recycling scheme in the United States
Apart from pledging to use less virgin material, Mondelez has also called for a “reasonable” federal recycling scheme in the United States for flexible plastic films and other plastics.
Mondelez uses the lightweight plastic to lower its environmental footprint, but believes that recycling infrastructure improvements are needed for flexible films.
The maker of Oreo cookie brand says that it has so far invested more than US$30 million each year in technology, resources and recycling infrastructure and expects to spend about US$300 million toward plastic sustainability efforts by 2025.
Investment in plastic reduction technologies by multinationals such as Mondelez, comes at a time when consumers are making efforts to reduce their own carbon foot print.
A 2019 poll conducted by PBS NewsHour showed that 24% of adults in the U.S. are willing to pay 5% more in order to have more eco-friendly everyday plastics available for use.
This means that if they could avoid certain brands for a more eco-friendly product, they would gladly do even if that product was comparatively pricier.
Recently, General Mills’ Nature Valley brand unveiled a new recyclable wrapper and has chosen not to patent the material.
As a snack company producing treats like Ritz crackers and Oreos, Mondelez could adapt the wrapper to fit its needs.
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