Increased recyclable packaging and reduced use of virgin petroleum-based plastic build upon company’s zero-waste-to-landfill sustainability initiative
SMITHFIELD, Va., March 15, 2021 – Smithfield Foods, Inc. has announced new commitments it will implement across its portfolio by 2030 to achieve consumer packaging that is 90% recyclable, reusable, or industrially compostable as well as to halve its use of virgin petroleum-based plastic.
To meet these goals, the company has established an internal cross-functional team to investigate and explore new strategic packaging and plastic-use reduction options. Among the team’s current efforts is the identification and testing of replacements for products currently packaged using polystyrene (PS) trays.
Both the new recyclable packaging and plastic reduction goals build upon the company’s zero-waste-to-landfill initiative, which outlines a plan to reduce overall solid waste sent to landfills 75% by 2025 through utilizing or recycling materials once disposed of as garbage.
“We are in the discovery phase of this goal. We have rolled out the use of reusable deli tubs and continue to explore other options with vendors, but do not have anything more to report at this time.”
“Continual efforts to innovate packaging in favor of materials that can be recycled, reused and composted is an important component of holistic, sustainable food production,” said Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield Foods. “As a food-industry sustainability pioneer, Smithfield recognizes the importance of continuing to explore new ways to build upon our ambitious commitments and reduce waste across production and operations.”
As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability and constant product innovation, Smithfield launched the Pure Farmland™ brand in 2019, a plant-based protein line featuring sustainable packaging and trays made from more than 50% recycled material.
Smithfield is also an active member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC), the authority and leading voice on sustainable packaging and related initiatives.
No information was provided regarding the company’s intentions regarding reusable packaging in reference to its its commitment to making 90% of its packaging recyclable, reusable, or industrially compostable. When asked for details, a Smithfield representative commented, “We are in the discovery phase of this goal. We have rolled out the use of reusable deli tubs and continue to explore other options with vendors, but do not have anything more to report at this time.”