Mondelēz International Supports Global Efforts for Plastic Recycling

The American multinational food and beverage company, which is a spin-off by Kraft Foods Inc from its North American grocery-foods products, has announced its support for global efforts designed to increase recycling rates for plastic waste, including flexible films.

Furthermore, the firm selling its snack and food brands in 150 countries called for greater collaboration across the industry to develop and implement Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs to help realize a more circular economy. As reported, Mondelēz International is a signatory of the Business Call for a UN Treaty on plastic pollution, which calls on governments to adopt a more harmonized approach to policymaking, to increase infrastructure investments and to coordinate infrastructure development to address plastic waste.

Graphic: Mondelēz International

“We need concerted and collaborative action to advance recycling systems that cater to flexible films, so that more of the light-weight, multi-layer plastics that are used in the confectionery and snacking industries can be economically and practically collected, reprocessed, and ultimately reused, instead of ending up in the environment,” Rob Hargrove, Executive Vice President of Research, Development & Quality for Mondelēz International, was quoted. Plastic films would help to keep food safe and decrease food waste, but their recycling rates had to be improved significantly. “Alongside the significant financial contributions that we will make through voluntary and mandatory programs, we are advancing public and private partnerships and recycling programs to build better infrastructure so that these materials are not only designed to be recycled, but actually get recycled.”

Mondelēz International is supporting initiatives in markets that promote the circular economy and closed-loop recycling systems when those programs take account of flexible films, the information said. With engagements in approximately 15 locations – including Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Poland, the UK, Brazil, Colombia, India, the USA and Australia – the company’s EPR contributions would cover markets that account for around 40 percent of its global revenue base. “In addition, the company is an active member of the U.S. Plastics Pact, the UK Plastics Pact and a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment. Mondelēz International has also contributed to the European Brands Association’s (AIM) digital watermarking program, Holy Grail 2.0, and is one of several companies working with The Consumer Goods Forum on plastic waste.”

By its own account, it has already made significant progress on its packaging recyclability targets, removing 65,000 tons of packaging from its portfolio between 2013 and 2020, and is on track to achieve its 2025 goal for 100 percent of packaging designed to be recycled with ~94 percent of all packaging already designed to be recycled. “All of the paper and carton board, and some of the rigid plastics and flexible plastic films used by Mondelēz International, is already designed to be recycled. In addition, all fiber packaging used to store, ship and display its products around the world is sourced from sustainable sources, whether that be recycled or certified deforestation-free.” Furthermore, the company has committed to using recycled plastic content in the tubs for its cream cheese range, as well as in the packaging for a brand sold in the UK. The shift in the UK and European packaging would occur in 2022 and form “part of the company’s move to decrease the use of virgin plastics across its packaging footprint and to encourage the adoption and use of food-grade recycled content in consumer product packaging,” the firm emphasized.

(Published in GLOBAL RECYCLING Magazine 1/2021, Page 21, Photo: Harald Heinritz /