Smithfield Foods recently announced new commitments it will implement across its portfolio by 2030: to achieve consumer packaging that is 90% recyclable, reusable, or industrially compostable and to halve 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.
The company is also heavily involved renewable energy projects, but not the traditional renewable energy many may think of. Last year, Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods announced the completion of the first renewable natural gas (RNG) project through their joint venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas. Located in Milford in southwestern Utah, the project is now producing RNG from a network of 26 family farms that raise hogs under contract with Smithfield.
The companies say the project is the first large-scale effort in the state to capture methane from hog farming operations and convert it into clean energy for homes, businesses, and transportation. Significantly more greenhouse gas emissions are captured from the farms than are released when consumers use the gas, which makes RNG a “carbon-beneficial” energy source.