PET (rPET)containers, as well as Whole Foods Market 365 brand and
Rainbow Light which both use 100 percent recycled HDPE (rHDPE)
bottles for their supplement lines.
Also lightening the load in landfills, Stonyfield Farm was honored
for reducing the weight and materials used in its 6-oz yogurt cups and
multipacks, and for the implementation of post-consumer recycling
initiatives. The company switched from #2 HDPE to lighter weight #5
PP plastic for the cups, reducing weight by 17 percent per year, and replaced the cup’s rigid plastic lids (with a plastic film underwrap) with a
single foil peel-off lid, reporting 16 percent less energy use, 12 percent
lower water use and 6 percent less waste annually. They also invested in
equipment to mould and fill multipacks on-site rather than using premade packaging that was shipped in, saving 730 tones of materials and
$1.8 million in associated costs each year. To facilitate recycling of #5
PP, which is less commonly accepted by local recycling programs,
Stonyfield has partnered with Preserve and TerraCycle, and implemented its own mail-back program.
Organic Essence compostable cardboard lip balm tube was another
award-winning eco-innovation. Using compostable cardboard as well as
non-toxic adhesives and soy ink, these tubes can be tossed in any house-
hold compost bin. The company is also offering its de-
sign to other lip balm companies which could prevent
millions of plastic tubes from ending up in landfills.
Other companies are avoiding plastic alto-
gether and choosing other materials that are
durable enough to be washed and reused to
package their product time and time again.
Both Straus Family Creamery and Crescent
Ridge were honored for creating returnable
glass beverage bottles, which are reclaimed for
reuse regionally. EcoNature Care’s refillable
aluminum body care containers also reduce
plastic use and promote packaging reuse, while
Preserve Products, which makes recycled-con-
tent toothbrushes, offers mail-back envelopes
for recycling, demonstrating extended producer responsibility and
Another one of the most environmentally unfriendly packaging options, Styrofoam, has been given a green makeover. KTM Industries
was recognized for its Green Cell shipping foam and coolers, which
are made from Non-GMO corn. Green Cell products are not only recyclable and compostable, but also can be burned without emitting the
chemical toxins released from Styrofoam. Other award-winning products include Burt’s Bees 80 percent rHDPE lip balm tube, Seventh
Generation’s 90 percent rHDPE Bottle
and Sagomonian Farm’s 70 percent
rPET clamshell manufactured with 50
percent onsite solar.
Albert Straus of Straus Creamery illustrates that
his glass milk bottles are reused six
to eight times, eliminating the need
to create new plastic containers.
Find out who the next Responsible Packaging Project
awardees will be at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim on March
10th from 4-5 p.m. in Ballroom A. Prior to the awards ceremony there
will be a Responsible Packaging Forum from 1: 30 to 3 p.m. The Call for
Nominations for Fall 2011 awards will be released this summer. Visit
www.responsible-packaging.org for more information.
chemicals in packaging, especially
those that could leach into food. According to the Environmental Working Group, studies have shown that
trace levels of the chemical Bisphe-nol-A (BPA), commonly used to line
cans for pasteurized foods, can disrupt the endocrine system and trigger
a wide variety of disorders from reproductive abnormalities to impaired
brain and neurological functions,
cancer and more.
To avoid this risk, organic pioneer
Eden Foods launched the first BPA-free cans for low-acid foods. The company’s website explains, “All Eden
organic beans, refried beans, chilies
and rice & beans are cooked in steel
cans coated with a baked-on oleo-resinous c-enamel that does not contain BPA. Oleoresin is a non-toxic
mixture of an oil and a resin extracted from plants such as pine or
balsam fir.” Eden says that these cans
cost 14 percent more than standard
cans, however they’ve clearly made
the choice to invest in consumer and
environmental health—and its values.
Learning From the Leaders