The Kraft Heinz Co., maker of the world’s most popular ketchup, could soon put the condiment in a bottle the company says is 100% sustainably sourced wood pulp.
The company is teaming up with Pulpex Ltd., a sustainable packaging technology company based in the United Kingdom. Kraft Heinz Co. said this collaboration is the latest step in the company's journey to reduce its environmental footprint.
Heinz is the third-largest food company in North America and the fifth-largest in the world with eight brands valued at over $1 billion each.
This will be the first sauce brand to test the potential of Pulpex’s sustainable paper bottle packaging for its range of condiments, according to an announcement by Kraft Heinz Co.
Pulpex’s current data indicates the carbon footprint of Pulpex bottles is materially less than glass and plastic on a bottle-by-bottle basis. Once used, they are also expected to be widely and readily recyclable in paper waste streams.
Like other brands, Kraft Heinz Co. says it wishes to make all packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025 and to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
However, many of the world's biggest companies are failing to meet their own targets for tackling climate change, according to a study of 25 corporations released in February.
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The world currently wastes one-third of all food produced, and many corporations are under pressure to cut their environmental impact as more consumers want "green" products.
The firms analyzed in the study accounted for 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions, which means although they have a huge carbon footprint, they have potential to lead in the effort to limit climate change.
Kraft Heinz Co. CEO Miguel Patricio said he hopes a paper ketchup bottle can help them attain that goal of becoming more sustainable.
“Packaging waste is an industry-wide challenge that we must all do our part to address,” Patricio said.
“That is why we are committed to taking steps to explore sustainable packaging solutions across our brands at Kraft Heinz, offering consumers more choices," Patricio added. "This new Heinz bottle is one example of how we are applying creativity and innovation to explore new ways to provide consumers with the products they know and love while also thinking sustainably.”
The food brand and Pulpex are still in the prototype phase, but they’re hopeful the new packaging could help shift the brand away from unsustainable materials, namely plastic.
Plastic is made from fossil fuels, the extraction process of which releases dangerous greenhouse gases and is one of the largest contributors to climate change.
“We are delighted to work with Heinz to bring our patented packaging technology to such a famous name in food and are excited about the potential of this collaboration,” Pulpex CEO Scott Winston said.
“We believe that the scope for paper-based packaging is huge, and when global household names like Heinz embrace this type of innovative technology, it’s good news for everyone – consumers and the planet," Winston added.
There are still some obstacles before the paper-based bottles make it to the market, though. The next step in the process will be different performance assessments before testing with consumers ahead of a potential market launch.