Food processing company Hormel Foods has announced a series of commitments as it aims to reduce its plastic packaging usage. 

The company pledged to reduce its use of packaging by ten million pounds by 2030. 

This pledge comes alongside a commitment to form a new industry working group to advance circular packaging policy. 

Hormel also promises to produce a detailed report on further circularity actions by the end of the year. 

Following this announcement, non-profit organisation As You Sow agreed to withdraw its shareholder proposal with the company.   

The agreement aligns with the company’s efforts to support extended producer responsibility (EPR) for packaging waste.  

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The policy shift places the financial responsibility for recycling infrastructure on producers rather than municipalities and consumers. 

US states such as Maine, Oregon, Colorado, and California have already adopted EPR legislation for packaging since 2021.  

Hormel research and development and quality control senior vice-president Kevin Myers said: “We appreciated the opportunity to have conversations with As You Sow on our progress and commitments surrounding recyclability and the circular economy.  

“At Hormel Foods, we have reported our substantial packaging reduction efforts for more than 17 years as part of our Global Impact report and are constantly looking for opportunities to use less material, encourage recycling and eliminate waste through our continuous improvement processes all while maintaining safe and wholesome packaging to assure food safety in our products.”

The initiative by Hormel reflects a broader trend, with similar proposals filed with other companies such as Tyson and Constellation Brands

Shareholders, regulators, and the public are increasingly demanding action on plastic waste management.