Industry giants are embracing sustainable, recycled packaging
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McDonald’s seeks to have 100% of fiber-based packaging sourced from recycled or non-deforested locations by 2025. This is just one of the massive corporations aiming for sustainable packaging this year.
Amongst McDonald’s goals are also ensuring that 100% of guest packaging will come from renewable, recycled or certified sources, preferably with Forest Stewardship Council certification, and recycling guest packaging in 100% of restaurants.
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Sustainable sourcing offers many benefits as sustainability has grown in popularity with suppliers, which has reduced the costs considerably. In fact, with its switch to renewable sourcing, McDonald’s is likely to save more than $6 million dollars, the amount it saw back in 1993 when first teaming up with the Environmental Defense Fund to reduce waste in packaging. Nonetheless, other chains have failed to take note of similar opportunities like is the case of Starbucks and Jimmy John’s which still plastic straws –well-known ocean wildlife contaminants.
Additionally to paper and cardboard packaging, McDonald’s will also eliminate Styrofoam from their operations this year. Whilst currently only 2% of the company’s packaging is foam-based, the scale of usage means 2% remains unusually extensive.
Whilst these changes mean there will be many challenges to overcome, they also provide evidence that we’re taking a step in the right direction not only as an industry but also as a society. Although military specification packaging demands the use of certain materials for practical purposes, it is necessary that we make a conscious use of it to help reduce our carbon footprint.
As breakthroughs are made in the industry, these innovations will also make their way into military specification packaging which will allow suppliers to provide consumers with packaging solutions that remain effective but are not harmful for the environment. But just like McDonalds embraces the use of sustainable, recycled packaging, other industry giants are doing the same. More importantly, you can embrace this initiative too by recycling and reusing any bags, desiccant packs and any other packaging materials.
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