“At Walmart, we believe climate change requires bold collective action. Minimizing plastic waste, in particular, depends on collaboration and cooperation across the retail industry,” says Jane Ewing, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. “These pilots represent a unique and exciting industry-wide commitment towards a more sustainable future, and we are excited to work with the Consortium to Reinvent the Retail Bag and to be a catalyst for meaningful change.”
Other Consortium Challenge winners, Domtar, PlasticFri and Sway—companies developing innovative, alternative materials to single-use plastic—will undergo rigorous material performance and recovery testing to optimize their designs to meet the needs of retailers and customers, and match the specifications of recycling and composting facilities.
Food and beverage processors working on solutions, too
Food and beverage processors have been dealing with trying to reduce the use of plastic in their products. Of course, the aluminum can is highly recyclable and valuable because it’s already in the form to be easily melted and reused, requiring less energy than to smelt ore. Then there is the “wood bottle,” recently covered in Food Engineering.
According to Transparency Market Research, the paper bottles market is expected to be valued at $93 million by 2029, due to a surge in demand for sustainable packaging solutions. Besides Pulpex noted in the above link, other suppliers include Paper Water Bottle, Frugalpac, Pulp Packaging International and Choose Packaging to name a few.
In something reminiscent of the old Dixie cup ice cream containers, Chobani is launching a new paper cup for some of its yogurt products. Chobani’s new product innovations—oatmilk, cold brew coffee and coffee creamers—already come in paper-based packaging that is recyclable. After two years of development, Chobani will move its oat yogurt into a paper-based cup, but that won’t be the end. The company will continue exploring more sustainable packaging across its portfolio, which means less plastic and more paper.