Annie’s Cereal Package Uses Recycled Plastic, but It’s the Consumer Messaging That Wins for Innovation
By Rachel Cernansky
Recycling rates in the U.S. are dismal, and Patrick Keenan, principal engineer - Annie’s packaging R&D, said the company wanted to help fix that.
“What we wanted to do was figure out a way to create value for the recycling collection process, which would then drive up the recovery rates and the access for consumers,” he said. “One way was by including recycled content in our packaging.”
So Annie’s started looking at the market for recycled materials, and learned a major source of recycled HDPE plastic came from old milk jugs. Then the idea almost formed itself: Annie’s saw an opportunity to close a loop in consumers’ minds, and turn milk jugs into the packaging for cereal that people pour milk over in the morning.
Then, Annie’s decided to actually communicate that message to consumers as well—so the effort could boost not only the use of recycled plastic, but also awareness among and participation by consumers in the recycling process.