Hartmann CEO Torben Rosenkrantz-Theil outlines a common-sense response to the impact of single-use plastic packaging.
Horrendous images of plastic piled high in landfills, floating in oceans and tangled up with wildlife coupled with growing concern for the health risks posed by plastic and its toxic additives have created a global demand for alternatives to plastic.
In many grocery categories, there are few practical alternatives to single-use plastic packaging that are so lightweight, transparent and cheap. But, in the egg category, there is a well-established alternative to oil-based polystyrene and PET plastic. One that's environmentally friendly, made with 100% recyclable materials and has a proven track record of superior, reliable performance: moulded pulp packaging.
Consumer studies have documented a strong preference for paper-based packaging amongst European and US consumers, who are now demanding that supermarkets offer a green choice wherever possible. Large retailers are listening, and many are setting ambitious targets to phase out plastic packaging.
The escalating plastic crisis is particularly bad in the US compared with other developed countries because the recycling rate of plastic is very low. In the egg category, the US still uses polystyrene and PET packaging for almost half of all eggs sold, despite the availability of a better and more sustainable alternative. A few European countries also package a high proportion of their eggs in plastic. We are as mystified as you are.
We are confident it will change. That's why Hartmann is investing heavily in capacity expansion in the US, in Europe and in South America so we can make the transition from black to green packaging. In fact, this is our primary contribution to improving the environment: sell more. It's a great example of business and climate in perfect sync.
Torben Rosenkrantz-Theil, CEO, Hartmann
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