Conagra Brands Inc. announced that it will strive toward making 100% of its current plastic packaging renewable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. The goal, Conagra said, accompanies current efforts to reduce the overall use of plastic and is part of the company's broader commitment to shaping a better planet, one of the four pillars of its corporate social responsibility and environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts.
"Conagra is committed to being a caretaker of the environment," said Katya Hantel, Conagra director, sustainable development. "As part of this commitment, we are constantly challenging ourselves to more sustainably source packaging materials, generate less waste for disposal and help preserve our planet and its resources."
The company said packaging serves a critical role in maintaining both food freshness and safety but added that waste from plastic packaging is a growing issue. With the introduction of its sustainable packaging goal, Conagra is committing to producing packaging that takes environmental impacts into account while continuing to ensure food quality and safety. The company aims to reduce waste derived from packaging through thoughtful design and by using renewable and more readily recyclable or compostable materials.
Conagra has already made progress against its sustainable packaging goal with the introduction of plant-based bowls used in Healthy Choice Power Bowls products. Made from fiber, these bowls have helped Conagra avoid the use of more than 2.1 million lb. of plastic packaging since being introduced in 2017.
Over the next few years, the company aims to avoid the use of an additional 33 million lb. of plastic through further development of plant-based packaging options and other packaging innovations. Conagra also plans to ensure that all packaging features a How2Recycle label to provide clarity to consumers so that more materials are put into recycling bins.
"As a food company, packaging is an integral part of our product. That's why we are committed to making packaging decisions with the environment in mind," said Dr. Corey Berends, Conagra senior vice president, research and development. "We've set an ambitious goal, and we look forward to working with our suppliers and others in the industry to identify innovative solutions that maintain food safety and freshness while also reducing our packaging footprint."