According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, 311 million tonnes of plastic is produced each year, the equivalent of more than 900 Empire State Buildings1. Annually, 8 million metric tonnes of this plastic enter our oceans.
Plastic food packaging adds to this issue; however, it also plays an important role in food quality, safety and reducing food waste. However, this isn’t an either/or proposition – we must ensure that our packaging contributes to the circular economy. Already, Kellogg has one of the smallest plastic packaging footprints among peer food companies2 and 76% of our packaging is recyclable globally. Most of our other packaging uses either recycled-content paperboard cartons or corrugate cardboard. We also use composite cans, and for our bars and convenience foods, we use flexible plastic packaging. We are aggressively driving cutting-edge innovation, looking at how packaging can protect and enhance our foods and have an even smaller environmental impact.
“We’re incredibly motivated to be part of the solution,” said Nigel Hughes, DPhil., senior vice president, research quality, nutrition and technology. “We’re wasting no time in working toward our goal of using 100% reusable, recyclable or compostable packaging by the end of 2025. This goal aligns to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s (EMF) New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, which we were among just a handful of food companies to sign on to in 2018.”
Achieving our sustainable packaging goal is part of our global Kellogg’s Better Days® commitment to create Better Days for 3 billion people around the world by 2030 by addressing the interrelated issues of wellbeing, food security and climate resiliency. It also supports United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal #12 – Sustainable Production and Consumption – including #12.5, to “substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.”
When our founder Mr. Kellogg introduced the first box of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes® cereal in 1906, it came in boxes made from recycled content. Today, 100% of our timber-based packaging that goes into cereal and other boxes comes from low risk, certified-sustainable or recycled sources. And we’re speeding up our efforts to achieve our packaging goal. Around the world, we’re committed to following the principles of the circular economy, excluding, reducing and replacing plastic, as well as building external partnerships to ensure more plastic can be recycled after use. Below are a few examples on how we are progressing against our commitment. More information about our efforts are provided in our Sustainable Packaging Annual Milestones.