As brands look at their carbon footprints, they often consider how to reduce the waste generated by their packaging. Find out what changes four companies—three in food and beverages; one in health and beauty—are making with the planet in mind.

Victoria A.F. Camron, Digital content specialist

January 5, 2022

3 Min Read
End of the line: How brands are working to reduce packaging waste

Packaging and packaging waste were big topics at Natural Products Expo East in September. However, some companies have long been working on reducing their carbon footprints when it comes to packaging matters. Here, we look at the progress four companies are making so consumers leave less behind.

 How brands are working to reduce packaging waste | Om Mushroom Superfood

Om Mushroom Superfood

Om Mushroom Superfood, which makes functional mushroom foods, beverages and supplements, unveiled its new biodegradable packaging in September, putting its hot beverage blends in 30-serving canisters made from 100% paperboard. With a specialized water-based glue that breaks down easily, the canisters are both recyclable and biodegradable, says Adam Ziegelman, vice president of marketing. Inside the canister, the pouch that holds the mushroom beverage powder is made of 30% post-consumer recycled content but is not itself recyclable.

"Shelf life is critical for our product category and at this point, we are unable to use compostable or biodegradable liner," he adds.

In addition, the company's 10-serving box is made from 100% PCR paper, which can be recycled with other paper in consumers' usual recycling stream. The sachets are now made of paper, which Ziegelman says the company estimates will remove 36,000 pounds of virgin plastic from the waste stream.

 How brands are working to reduce packaging waste | Harmless Harvest

Harmless Harvest

Harmless Harvest has set a goal of packaging its coconut water, drinkable yogurt, yogurt cups and coconut smoothies in 100% PET— Polyethylene terephthalate—plastic.

Already, the company is using 100% rPET bottles in Thailand, where its coconuts are sustainably grown and harvested.

The company is working with its U.S. manufacturers to have its product portfolio to 100% post-consumer recyclable or compostable material by 2025.

 How brands are working to reduce packaging waste | Numi tea

Numi tea

Numi, based in Oakland, California, has addressed a common waste problem for tea makers and drinkers: the wrapper that keeps the tea bags fresh. The new wrapper is made from renewable resources such as Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper, eucalyptus and non-GMO sugarcane—all of which help keep carbon in the ground.

Numi’s tea wrappers displace the consumption of 14.3 metric tons of virgin plastic per year. A light metallic layer provides a moisture barrier to keep the tea fresh.

These wrappers have a lower carbon footprint, perform better across all categories throughout their lifecycle, including energy resource use, pollution and ozone.

Working with the OSC Packaging Collaborative, Numi invested 10 years into developing the plant-based wrappers.

 How brands are working to reduce packaging waste | True Grace supplements

True Grace

Supplement maker True Grace not only makes it bottles from post-consumer recycled plastic, it makes it easy for consumers to refill rather than replace those containers.

Offering refill pouches made with renewable materials, True Grace uses 85% fewer virgin plastic bottles than if it made new bottles for those products.

Recycled plastic requires less energy to produce and releases less carbon dioxide than virgin plastic.

About the Author(s)

Victoria A.F. Camron

Digital content specialist, New Hope Network

Victoria A.F. Camron was a freelance writer and editor contracted with New Hope Network from 2015 until April 2022, when she was hired as New Hope Network's digital content specialist—otherwise known as the web editor.

As she continues the work she has done for years—covering the natural products industry for and Natural Foods Merchandiser; writing up earnings calls and other corporate news; and curating roundups of trends and information for the website—she is thrilled to be an official part of the New Hope team. (She doesn't mind having paid holidays and vacations again, though!) Victoria also compiled and edited newsletters, and served as interim content director for Delicious Living in 2016.

Before working as a freelancer, she spent 17 years in community newspapers in Longmont, Colorado, and St. Charles and Wheaton, Illinois. Victoria is a Colorado native and a graduate of Metropolitan State College of Denver.

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