TILLAMOOK, ORE. — Tillamook County Creamery Association (TCCA) has announced new packaging goals aimed at sustainability that include:
- Avoid additional and unnecessary packaging while prioritizing the uncompromising quality of its products and the reduction of food waste
- Commit 100% of its packaging solutions to being recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2030
- Increase recycled content to 20% (on average) in its plastic packaging by 2025 and eliminate use of all virgin plastic by 2035
- Source all virgin paper packaging from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified materials and use 50% or more recycled fiber by 2025
- Educate consumers on actionable ways to reduce food waste and properly dispose, recycle, or re-use Tillamook packages
"Our decision-making around packaging is dynamic as we think about everything from the design, material selection sourcing, and consumer behavior," said Paul Snyder, executive vice president, stewardship, Tillamook County Creamery Association. "At TCCA, our goal is to provide a great product that's good for our business, our Tillamook brand fans, and for the environment."
TCCA evaluates its packaging by conducting thorough, science-based lifecycle assessments (LCAs). As part of the LCAs, TCCA measures multiple packaging aspects, such as the greenhouse gas emissions and other environmental impacts associated with material sourcing, transportation, production, and the final destination of Tillamook packaging.
"By studying the environmental impact of our current product packaging, we have a clear vision of what alternatives – if any – can help us further reduce our environmental impact," said Jocelyn Bridson, director of environment & community impact, Tillamook County Creamery Association. "Our approach to packaging sustainability starts and ends with science. It is complex, data-intensive, and absolutely worth it."
TCCA's new packaging goals come at a time when 9.8 million tons of packaging and 133 billion pounds of food waste end up in U.S. landfills each year. Nearly 30% of the world's food supply becomes waste. This food waste, in turn, contributes 8% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition to its own efforts, TCCA has joined forces as part of industry-wide initiatives to promote sustainability. The co-op is an active member of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition in the Innovation Center for the U.S. Dairy's Packaging Working Group. Additionally, TCCA recently joined an effort to combat global food waste by teaming up with major retailer, Kroger, and hundreds of suppliers worldwide to commit to a reduction of 50% in food waste among TCCA's own operations by 2030.