American confectionery company Hershey has successfully phased out more than 1.7 million pounds of packaging material in 2023, achieving its original goal five years ahead of schedule.  

The company’s efforts included eliminating, redesigning, and reducing packaging. 

In its 2023 environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report, Hershey claimed to have achieved more than 61% of its target to eliminate an additional 25 million pounds of packaging by 2030. 

Besides consumer packaging, the company has also been focusing on reducing secondary, transport, and retail display packaging.  

This has resulted in more efficient distribution, fewer trucks on the road, and a substantial contribution to the company’s scope 3 greenhouse gas emissions targets.  

During the reported year, Hershey said it made significant progress in making its packaging portfolio recyclable, converting 19 items to monomaterial film. 

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The company also conducted numerous manufacturing trials to understand recyclable film performance. 

In addition, the chocolate manufacturer increased its use of plastic alternatives and post-consumer recycled material in 2023. 

It implemented design changes to improve recyclability such as on the ICE BREAKERS mints packaging, which is now fully recyclable due to the use of a single material type for both its labels and container.  

Furthermore, Hershey eliminated all polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from its branded business for the year, with projects ongoing to remove PVC from its private-label offerings and to remove the material fully by the end of this year.

Hershey CSO Leigh Horner said: “We remain focused on delivering today and creating the future. In 2024, we are refreshing our sustainability strategy as part of our Leading Snacking Powerhouse vision, a fast-moving regulatory environment and the maturation of many of our commitments.” 

Last month, Hershey faced a lawsuit filed by a group of consumers over reportedly deceptive packaging used for its Reese’s Peanut Butter products.