Kraft Heinz Aims to Reduce Virgin Plastic Use Globally

Bottle of Heinz ketchup sits on a wooden table

Credit: Canva Pro

by | Aug 1, 2023

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Bottle of Heinz ketchup sits on a wooden table

(Credit: Canva Pro)

The Kraft Heinz Company has a new goal to reduce the use of virgin plastic in its global packaging portfolio by 20 percent by 2030.

This move aims to decrease the company’s reliance on fossil fuels and adopt more environmentally friendly product packaging solutions. The shift is expected to eliminate approximately 100 million pounds of virgin plastic.

Kraft Heinz’s latest goal includes a plan to make 100% of its packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025. Additionally, the company aims to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with a halving of emissions by 2030. To meet these environmental, social, and governance targets, Kraft Heinz said there is a need for transformative changes in its packaging practices to ensure less reliance on fossil fuels.

Kraft Heinz Transitions to Recycled Content

Kraft Heinz is actively working to increase the use of recycled content in its packaging, with a focus on key regions like the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The company aims to replace 15% of its U.S. PET rigid plastic packaging with post-consumer recycled content by 2025. There are a number of brands within the Kraft Heinz portfolio that are also making a shift toward recycled content packaging.

For instance, Kraft Real Mayo and Miracle Whip will begin transitioning their packaging to 100% recycled content in the United States, starting in 2024. This effort alone is expected to eliminate approximately 14 million pounds of virgin plastic annually.

Similarly, Heinz has already taken action in Brazil, the U.K., and Europe by incorporating 30% recycled content in most of its bottles. Additionally, the company collaborated with specialists in the U.K. to create recyclable Heinz Beans Snap Pots made from 39% recycled plastic, which was sourced from soft plastics returned by consumers to Tesco.

Embracing Material Elimination and Alternatives

Kraft Heinz describes other measures the company has taken to eliminate unnecessary plastic components, which includes removing the “shaker” from the Shake ‘N Bake product line. This effort alone has eliminated approximately 900,000 pounds of plastic waste annually, the company said.

Moreover, the company is actively exploring the use of alternative materials that are more sustainable. For example, Heinz launched a pilot with Pulpex to develop a paper-based, renewable, and recyclable bottle made from 100% sustainably sourced wood pulp for Heinz Tomato Ketchup.

Similarly, NABOB coffee in Canada replaced its non-recyclable flexible plastic coffee bags with recyclable canisters made from 80% paper fiber from renewable resources. These efforts are estimated to eliminate approximately 2.5 million plastic bags annually.  

Kraft Heinz currently has net sales reaching approximately $26 billion as of 2022, and the company has a portfolio of six product platforms. The company claims to abide by its core value, “We do the right thing,” as it pursues environmental sustainability through the use of reduced virgin plastic.

 

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