Gail Tavil, ConAgra’s VP of sustainable development research, quality and innovation, recently spoke with Packaging Digest about the company’s sustainability programs.
Tavil says that in recent years, the company has focused more on optimizing existing product designs to make sustainable changes and training new product development packaging engineers on sustainable packaging design guidelines.
Hunt’s Ketchup project was one of its successful sustainable packaging projects. The project converted the ketchup bottle from multilayer EVOH barrier bottle to a monolayer bottle using an oxygen-scavenging technology.
ConAgra also switched Wesson oils from round bottles to rectangular bottles. The move led to a sustainability advantage in cube utilization on the shelf, in secondary packaging and in transport packaging. Tavil says on average, the company saved 30 to 40 percent in terms of transportation efficiencies.
Tavil would “like to see the Federal Trade Commission have more teeth to enforce its new green guidelines when they are published.” She may just see that as the FTC could move to establish legal precedents on green ad claims.
In August, ConAgra announced that it is incorporating between 30 to 30 percent post-consumer recycled plastic in its frozen meal trays. The move is expected to divert about 8 million pounds of plastic from landfills annually.