At Annie’s, we care about our packaging’s impact on people and the planet — and we know a lot of our consumers do too. If sustainability was just about whether the package could be recycled or not, Annie’s would be doing very well, as over 90% of our packaging, by weight, is recyclable. But there’s a lot more that we want to consider. We think about packaging as a system, with inputs and outputs. Let’s take a look at what that really means…
Our vision of sustainable packaging highlights three main concepts – better inputs, like recycled content and renewable energy, outputs that can be recovered in recycling programs, and optimized materials, so we use less packaging in the first place. We also think that sustainable packaging should tell you whether and how it can be recycled, which is why we joined How2Recycle, a voluntary effort to add clear and consistent labels that show the recyclability of every package’s components.
For packaging inputs, we prioritize recycled content for our paper and glass. We use 35–50% post-consumer recycled content for our paper and glass packaging, which comes from recycling programs like the ones in neighborhoods across the United States and Canada. In addition, we review our inventory of packaging materials annually to see how changes in our product portfolio or sales affect our packaging footprint. We also collect details on our packaging materials for more than 97% of our products.
Prior to this year, the total weight of our packaging increased at the same rate as sales. But for the first time in FY2015, we saw our packaging usage increase much slower than our sales. This improvement in packaging efficiency is partially due to our review of all new and existing products through our lens of inputs, outputs, and optimization. Using this new framework, we have reevaluated some of our packaging, like snack boxes and mac & cheese shipping cases, in order to make significant packaging reductions. Follow the hyperlinks to learn more about how Annie’s weaves care and consideration into our products from farm to fork.