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Kraft Heinz to reduce virgin plastic use in products


Kraft Heinz to reduce virgin plastic use in products

Kraft Heinz Co., with co-headquarters in Chicago and Pittsburgh, has announced its plans to reduce the use of virgin plastics in the packaging of its products. The company agreed to set a goal to reduce total virgin plastic use following the filing of a shareholder proposal and engagement with As You Sow. - RecyclingToday

According to a news release from As You Sow, the proposal asked Kraft Heinz to report on how the company would reduce plastic packaging, including planned reduction strategies or goals, materials redesign, substitution or reductions in the use of virgin plastic.  

The company says it intends to set a substantial virgin plastic packaging reduction goal later this year or in the first quarter of 2023. In response, As You Sow agreed to withdraw its shareholder proposal. 

In a statement given to As You Sow, Kraft Heinz says it will launch a variety of initiatives and investments, including reduction of virgin plastic material, packaging redesign and increased use of recycled content. The company says it also would continue the exploration and scaling of reuse models.  

We were pleased to reach this agreement with Kraft Heinz that involves a substantial virgin plastic reduction goal for packaging, including consideration of packaging redesign and innovative reuse models. We have similar pending proposals at Amazon, McDonald’s and Kroger and hope that those companies can agree to reductions in the use of plastic for packaging.  

Conrad MacKerron, Senior Vice President, As You Sow

Five other large companies, Keurig Dr. Pepper, Mondelez International, PepsiCo, Target Corp. and Walmart, agreed to virgin plastic reductions in 2021 after the filing of shareholder proposals by As You Sow. Target and Keurig Dr. Pepper agreed to reduce virgin plastic in brand packaging by 20 percent, Walmart agreed to a 15 percent cut and Mondelez agreed to cut 5 percent by 2025. PepsiCo agreed to a 20 percent cut by 2030.   

As You Sow says the reduction in the use of virgin plastic announced by these brands is expected to total more than 700,000 tons.   

The largest cut in overall plastic use to date by a major consumer goods company was a 2019 commitment by Unilever to cut virgin plastic use by 50 percent, including the elimination of 100,000 tons of plastic packaging by 2025. 

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