While some companies are focusing on reducing their carbon footprint as part of their sustainable initiatives, others cannot ditch plastic just yet.
Starbucks Corp. committed to a multi-decade program to become a resource-positive company. The company will reduce carbon emissions, water use, and waste by 2030—ultimately aiming to store more carbon than it emits and provide more fresh water than it uses.
Strategies include expanding plant-based options, shifting from single-use to reusable packaging; investing in innovative and regenerative agricultural practices, reforestation, forest conservation, and water replenishment in the supply chain; investing in better ways to manage waste; and innovating to develop more eco-friendly stores, operations, manufacturing, and delivery.
On Starbucks’ 50th anniversary in 2021, the company will formalize its 2030 environmental goals based on learnings between now and then. The coming year will involve comprehensive market research and trials to better understand consumer behavior and incentives to encourage more use of reusable containers, CEO Kevin Johnson noted.
Meanwhile, GoGo squeeZ recently committed to using 100% recyclable packaging for its fruit pouches by 2022. After three years of research and development, the company’s final recyclable packaging will have no aluminum layer in the pouch, the amount of plastic in the helicopter cap will have been reduced by 40%, and the recyclable, squeezable packaging will be made from a single type of BPA free plastic polyethylene.
GoGo squeeZ also joined the Sustainable Packaging Coalition, a membership-based collaborative that engages member companies in research, educational resources, and like-minded members to create actionable improvements to sustainable packaging. The company will add educational labeling on its packaging and information on its website and social media to promote higher recycling rates.
On the other hand, Coca-Cola revealed it will not eliminate single-use plastic bottles, because customers still want them, reported BBC (Jan. 21). People like that the bottles reseal and are lightweight, and Coca-Cola believes getting rid of them could alienate customers and affect sales, according to Coca-Cola’s head of sustainability Bea Perez.
Although the company pledged to recycle as many plastic bottles as it uses by 2030, environmental campaigners argue many bottles would still go uncollected and end up in a landfill.
In 2019, Coca-Cola was found to be the most polluting brand in a global audit of plastic waste by the charity Break Free from Plastic. Speaking at this week’s World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Perez said the firm recognized it now has to be “part of the solution.”
The company pledged to use at least 50% recycled material in its packaging by 2030 and is partnering with non-governmental organizations around the world to help improve collection.