Driscoll’s Becomes the First U.S.-Based Produce Company To Sign Plastics Economy Global Commitment
WATSONVILLE, CA - In a first-ever move on behalf of the company, Driscoll’s has revealed that it has joined The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment to drive forward its pledge to prioritize sustainable packaging solutions. In joining the program, Driscoll’s has become one of the first U.S.-based companies to sign on, and is further establishing its commitment to minimizing environmental impacts.
“Better berries deserve better packaging. We have the opportunity to collaborate with many of the world’s leading brands throughout the journey to sustainable packaging in order to achieve scalable and economically viable solutions,” said J. Miles Reiter, Driscoll’s Chairman and CEO. “Signing the Global Commitment elevates our existing work by holding us to a higher standard and serves as a commitment to transparency, as well as annual reporting to accelerate the transition to a circular economy for plastic.”
The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment is led by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in partnership with the UN Environmental Programme. According to a release, more than 500 signatories have united behind a shared vision of a circular economy for plastics, in which environmental damages caused by the packaging material are reduced.
In signing this impactful commitment, Driscoll’s has agreed to help drive forward the broad and significant actions toward creating a more sustainable product offering for the benefit of not only consumers, but the planet.
“The New Plastics Economy Global Commitment unites businesses, governments, and others behind a clear vision of a circular economy for plastic. We are pleased Driscoll’s is joining us by setting concrete 2025 targets,” said Sander Defruyt, Lead of the New Plastics Economy initiative at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. “Our vision is for a world where plastic never becomes waste or pollution. It will be a challenging journey, but by coming together, we can eliminate the plastics we don’t need and innovate, so the plastics we do need can be safely and easily circulated—keeping them in the economy and out of the environment.”
To help realize the goals of the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment, all businesses and government signatories has committed to a set of ambitious targets, including:
- Take action to eliminate problematic or unnecessary packaging
- Conduct a packaging analysis of all inbound and outbound plastic
- Optimize clamshells to reduce unnecessary plastic
- Transition to paper packaging in Driscoll’s European markets where infrastructure allows
- Take action to move from single-use towards reuse models where relevant
- Replace single-use shipping containers with reusable plastic containers for receiving packaging
- Take action to achieve 100 percent of plastic packaging to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable
- Transition to washable Biaxially-Oriented Polypropylene (BOPP) labels and recyclable pads
- Include How2Recycle label on all clamshells in the U.S. and Canada to increase proper disposal of packaging by consumers
- In Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Driscoll’s will focus on transitioning to paper packaging where feasible and revert the company’s two-piece packaging model to a paper-pack with heat seal
- Set an ambitious 2025 recycled content target across all plastic packaging used
- Driscoll’s clamshells currently contain over 50 percent recycled Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET), which mainly comes from recycled bottles. As part of Driscoll’s commitment, the company will focus on increasing the amount of PET content that comes from recycled clamshells in effort to promote a more closed-loop system
With packaging playing such an integral role in Driscoll’s business, in early 2020 the company and others across the fresh berry industry made a joint pledge to achieve 100 percent recycle-ready packaging by 2025, already falling in line with the commitment. Since joining that initiative, Driscoll’s has taken on a series of changes that are yielding positive results, having achieved 10 percent recycled content from post-consumer clamshells and reducing is packaging footprint by 366,000 kg of PET.
The berry purveyor will continue to put its commitment into action by developing new collaborations, including its recent addition to the Sustainable Packaging Coalition in 2019. The company has also adopted the How2Recycle label on clamshells, educating consumers on material makeup of its packaging and how to properly dispose of it.
What are the next steps in Driscoll’s pledge to minimize its environmental footprint? Keep a tab open for AndNowUKnow as we bring you the answers and more.