What the industry needs to know about sustainable packaging
Posted January 24, 2019 04:16:48The new packaging used in supermarkets is often designed by the same company, but in reality it has been developed by a different company.
In the past year, a number of major companies, including Walmart, Whole Foods, and Target, have joined forces to form a group called The Sustainable Packaging Alliance.
And while many supermarkets are taking a hands-off approach to the packaging industry, some are taking more proactive steps.
The group has made several commitments to the environment and consumers, including a commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of its packaging.
That pledge is being followed by some major companies like Walmart and Whole Foods.
But it also promises to make packaging more sustainable, using more environmentally friendly materials and technologies.
“We are not making the same mistakes as the previous packaging companies,” said John Aylward, CEO of the Sustainable Packaged Food Alliance, in a statement.
“It’s about getting better.
We’re going to be doing it in a way that is going to help the environment, the people and the communities that rely on this industry.”
To that end, Aylroy says the Alliance is committed to using more sustainable materials in its packaging, and to reducing the carbon footprints of its supply chain.
Walmart and Walmart’s own packaging processes use plastics from China, Aydalen said, and they also use non-biodegradable packaging materials.
“We’ve had our share of manufacturing problems,” he said.
“I’m confident that we’re going in a direction where we can do it more effectively and better.”
While the Sustainable Package Alliance is a global consortium, the group has already signed up to some major commitments from major retailers like Walmart, which has pledged to eliminate the use of plastic bags by 2020.
Walmart has also pledged to reduce its carbon footprint by 10% by 2020, and the Alliance plans to follow through on its pledge to end the use in its stores by 2020 as well.
While Walmart has made a lot of commitments, some of those pledges are being met with a bit of resistance.
Walmart recently announced a plan to phase out plastic bags in stores by 2021.
Aylray says Walmart has taken a much more proactive approach to packaging than most of its competitors.
“If Walmart doesn’t do it, then they don’t have to do it,” Aylrey said.
The Alliance is looking to the company to do more.
“They’ve said that they want to see us make a lot more progress, to be a leader in the industry,” he continued.
“That’s what we’re looking to them to do.
And that’s what they’re doing.”
What’s Next for Walmart and the Sustainable Group?
The Sustainable Packager Alliance is planning on continuing to work with major retailers, but as it moves into its next phase, it’s also planning on increasing its commitment to the sustainability of its operations.
According to Aylry, the Alliance will work to increase its sustainability goals for its supply chains and its packaging suppliers, and that will include more sustainable manufacturing methods.
In addition to the pledge to eliminate plastic bags, the alliance has also committed to increasing the use and adoption of sustainable packaging in all of its stores.