Nature Valley, a Minneapolis-based snack brand owned by General Mills, has announced that it is launching a plastic film wrapper for its Crunchy granola bar that features a “Store Drop-Off Recyclable” label from How2Recycle. The newly packaged bars will be on store shelves this spring. According to a news release from Nature Valley, this packaging announcement brings the company closer to achieving its commitment to 100 percent recyclable packaging by 2025.
“This advancement led by Nature Valley demonstrates that big, innovative thinking can empower and enable consumers to take small steps, like recycling a wrapper through store drop-off, to make a significant difference in the health of our planet,” says Mary Jane Melendez, chief sustainability and social impact officer at General Mills. “It’s up to brands like Nature Valley and others in the snack industry to make these changes and do our part to protect the environment for generations to come.”
With the new packaging, Nature Valley reports that it plans to educate consumers about the store drop-off recycling system, engaging their interest in reducing landfilled material and stimulate recycling. The company says about 70 percent of people in the U.S. want to decrease the amount of plastic going to the landfill but aren’t sure how, according to a Hartman Group Sustainability 2019 report. That same report indicates that 90 percent of Americans live within 10 mils of a store drop-off recycling location.
Nature Valley says its new wrapper uses advanced film processing with polyethylene (PE) polymers. Once recycled, the materials can be used to create new products, such as synthetic lumber and decking. The company aims to implement the wrapper technology across its entire portfolio of snacks by 2025 and to other General Mills brands and products. The brand adds that it is working with nongovernmental organizations to create infrastructure for plastic film recycling, such as The Recycling Partnership and the Wrap Recycling Action Program.