Ben & Jerry’s has always believed that ice cream can change the world. And while it’s true that ice cream puts smiles on people’s faces and brings people together, we can’t ignore the impact that our packaging has on the environment. As with most food product packaging, much of ours is not reused, composted, or recycled, but rather disposed of as waste. We’re on a journey to change that.
Our goal is to have 100% of our packaging be free of petroleum-based plastic. And we want it all to be reusable, compostable, or recyclable by 2025!
We’ve been working to reduce our overall impact on the environment for many years, and we know we have more to do. The biggest issue we face is the petroleum-based plastic in some of our current packaging, which is difficult if not impossible to recycle.
Plastic production and pollution are inextricably linked to three things we care deeply about: environmental health, social justice, and climate change.
Because of the inherent unsustainability of plastics, we are committed to being part of the solution by not creating plastic waste in the first place. That’s why Ben & Jerry’s has embarked on a multiyear effort to eliminate plastics from our consumer packaging by:
There’s no silver bullet for the global plastic problem, but we’ve made good progress. Here are the changes we’ve made so far.
While we’re talking about packaging, we’re happy to tell you our pints have used paperboard packaging with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certification since 2009. FSC certification means the pulp in the paperboard comes from forests that are managed for the protection of wildlife habitat, maintenance of biodiversity, and other forest sustainability criteria.
Our biggest priority is finding an alternative to the remaining plastic in our ice cream containers, including the protective tamperband around the lid. Finding a solution that is recyclable and/or compostable throws up a number of challenges. Recycling standards and regulations vary widely between countries and even between towns. Composting isn’t an ideal solution yet either, because it’s not widely available. Still, we know using packaging material that biodegrades more quickly than traditional plastics is better for the planet if it isn’t properly disposed of.
We’re working to find solutions and break down these and other barriers surrounding the global waste system. We’ll continue pushing across all our euphoric offerings to make sure that the only thing our ice cream leaves behind is a smile.
Thank you to everyone who’s weighed in with suggestions and supported our efforts in this transition. We’ll provide more updates along the way.