Several years go I picked up a book called Stirring It Up: How to Make Money and Save the World. I loved that book.It was about how environmentally responsible business can make a profit while being good for your body and for the environment.
The author, Gary Hirshberg, is the CEO and founder of Stonyfield farms, an organic yogurt company based in New Hampshire, USA. We have always been happy with the quality and flavor of their products and are proud of the success of a NH company.
The book was published in 2008 and at the time Hirshberg explained the company’s rationale for using polypropylene (#5) plastics in the single serve cups. At the time plastics from renewable resources did not meet the performance and cost requirements that Stonyfield’s high quality standards required. Stonyfield co-operated with Preserve to recycle #5 plastics into household items. Visit Preserve’s Gimme 5 program to learn more.
Bioplastics are finally starting to meet corporate needs though. Stonyfield recently announced that their multipacks will be made from 93% plant based materials. The thermoformed multipacks were previously made of polystyrene (PS). Single serve cups will still be made of PP.
They will not be making the same mistakes as Sunchips made with their customer base
Except for the “THIS CUP IS MADE FROM PLANTS” stamp on the bottom, you probably won’t notice any difference in the new cups. They look, sound, and feel just like the plastic you’re used to.
If we were to wait until the day when PLA can be made from non-corn inputs, we would postpone, for years, our using packaging with almost half the climate impact and greatly reduced human toxicity for years. We chose not to wait for the perfect day but instead to take a big step forward on our sustainable packaging journey.
The decision is exciting and has the internet talking. Read more at these sites and blogs:
- From Cornfield to Cup – The New Sustainable Packaging Journey, Stonyfield blog
- Stonyfield Farm makes switch to PLA for yogurt multipacks, Greener Package
- Lifting the Lid on Stonyfield’s New Plant-Based Packaging, Joel Makower
- Stonyfield Plants Seed for Better Packaging, Triple Pundit
- Stonyfield Introduces New Yogurt Cups to World, Londonderry News
- Stonyfield Presents Breakthrough Cup Made From Plants, Food and Equipment News
Have an opinion on the packaging? Additional links?