The important role of recycling in our sustainability story


By Blaine McPeak, President, WhiteWave Foods

In celebration of America Recycles Day, the Carton Council invited members of the Carton Recycling Champions Network to submit their thoughts for Perspectives. The Carton Recycling Champions Network is comprised of companies and brands that share our commitment to improving carton recycling.

Why carton recycling? Well, at WhiteWave Foods, our mission is changing the way the world eats for the better, so as a company that uses millions of food and beverage cartons annually, ensuring our consumers can recycle our packaging is paramount. 

Our packaging is a key part of the consumer experience, so it needs to be functional and appealing but also, importantly, made through a lens of sustainability. We strive to use the least amount of packaging materials without compromising product quality or safety. With cartons, we use renewable paper fiber, aseptic technology to prevent food waste and support increased carton recycling access year over year, particularly through our partnership with and support of the Carton Council of North America.

As we innovate in packaging, we continue to emphasize recyclability and recycled materials.  We are always exploring ways to incorporate more recycled and post-consumer recycled content into our packaging and to optimize our packaging footprint. For example, by redesigning our International Delight portion control creamer singles, we eliminated 1.1 million pounds of material from the waste stream. In addition, our Horizon Mac & Cheese and Snack boxes contain a minimum of 35 percent post-consumer content, and are made with 100 percent recycled paperboard. 

However, we know that even greater sustainability progress depends on engaging and educating our consumers, customers and the broader community about packaging and recycling best practices, which is why working with the Carton Council to increase awareness of and improve access to carton recycling is so important to us. It’s just one more way we can make a difference – both for our business and our planet.