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CPG Industry Struggling to Reduce Environmental Impact

Environmental groups Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and As You Sow have expressed their concerns regarding the lack of recyclable packaging in the CPG industry, and some of the facts are surprising.

While plastic becomes the main form of packaging in the United States, mostly due to the amount of fast food and consumer beverages sold, only 14 percent of it is recycled. This is a major reason why there is an overall waste of $11.4 billion in potential recycling revenue every year.
The NRDC and As You Sow also identified companies that are succeeding in environmental sustainability. In the fast food/QSR industry, Starbucks and McDonald's were mentioned for "Better Practices." Dunkin' Brands, Subway, Chick-fil-A, Chipotle, Panera Bread, and Yum! Brands were classified as "Needs Improvement." Arby's, Quizno's, Burger King, Wendy's, Jack in the Box, Dairy Queen, Domino's Pizza, and Papa John's Pizza were recognized as "Poor" for not displaying any packaging sustainability leadership.
In the beverage industry, New Belgium Brewing, Coca-Cola, Nestlé Waters NA, and PepsiCo were mentioned for "Better Practices." Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Diageo, and Anheuser Busch were classified as "Needs Improvement." Heineken, MillerCoors, Boston Beer, and Red Bull were recognized as "Poor" for not displaying any packaging sustainability leadership.
As environmental issues become more important to consumers, it is clear the CPG industry has work to do in terms of reducing their environmental impact. It will be interesting to see what changes are made in the next few years.
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