October 28, 2008
by Canadian Packaging Staff
Packaged foods giant ConAgra Foods, Inc. says it has become the first company in North America to successfully incorporate post-consumer recycled plastic in its frozen-meal trays—enabling it to divert approximately 8-million pounds of plastic from North American landfills to the recycling stream annually.
The Omaha, Neb.-headquartered company says it had started using between 30- and 40-percent post-consumer recycled plastic in nearly all of its frozen-meal trays for the Healthy Choice, Banquet, Kid Cuisine and Marie Callender’s product lines in June after its joint research project with Associated Packaging Technologies led to the development of a new technology for cleaning recycled plastic for use as a tray component up to the U.S. FDA (Food and Drug Administration) standards for direct food-contact materials.
“Our commitment to innovation means we are looking at all aspects of our products as we consider new ways to improve them—including finding ways to be more environmentally responsible,” says Gail Tavill, ConAgra Foods vice-president of sustainability.
“As a leading packaged foods company, ConAgra Foods can make a positive impact on the environment by finding new ways to reduce waste,” Tavill states, “and our new frozen-meal trays with post-consumer recycled plastic will ensure that the equivalent of 128 million 20-ounce plastic bottles won’t go to landfills each year.”