In its first annual sustainability report, Sonoco announced plans to cut its environmental footprint and production costs through light-weight packaging, which reduces packaging material and energy use during transportation, Food Production Daily reports.
For infant formula packaging, the company recently switched from the metal variety to composite cans which has the same performance in abuse resistance and shelf life. Composite cans uses 27 percent less in material inputs, a 34 percent reduction in energy inputs, and 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
As for the sustainability of flexible packaging, the company has replaced rigid containers with a non-foil retort pouch, resulting in a 97 percent reduction in material weight.
Total use of metal for down-gauge metals to produce convenience closures has also been reduced by about 10 percent.
Other companies working to make packaging more environmentally friendly include Estee Lauder, Burt’s Bees, and Dell, to name a few. But one change in packaging has some consumers crying no–Wal-Mart’s new square milk jug.