When you buy a $3 box of cereal, you are purchasing more than just 6 to 7 bowls of sugary goodness. You are purchasing the packaging, which includes the box AND the plastic bag inside the box. The other month there was a sale on Malt O’ Meal brand cereal and I decided to give up my General Mills loyalty to try them out. But these "Spooners" come in a bag, so I also gave up the box.
Malt O’ Meal started a campaign called - Bag the Box. It is exactly what it entails. To reduce packaging waste, their cereals are in a sturdy plastic bag instead of a box. Check out this video:
But that’s not all Malt-O-Meal (MOM) is doing to reduce packaging waste. If you take a look at their cereal bags you will find, next to the “Bag the Box” label, the TerraCycle label.
The international company’s slogan is “Eliminating the Idea of Waste”. Their mission is to turn common waste materials, like MOM brand cereal bags, Clif Bar wrappers, and applesauce pouches, into innovative products. The first step is to select the “brigade”, then gather the materials, and ship them to the nearest collection site where they will be creatively reused. The MOM products brigade is shown below:
More information about TerraCycle can be found here.
This is just one example of a company's successful waste reduction campaign, but there are ways that you, as a consumer, can reduce packaging waste. Here are some ways to REDUCE packaging waste with your groceries:
skip the individually wrapped snacks - chip bags, cheese sticks, granola bars, apple sauce pouches, juice cartons - although these are easier to use, especially with kids, try using reusable containers, bottles, and bags
buy in bulk - (this saves $$$ too)
purchase loose produce ... and reuse your produce bags
avoid Styrofoam at all costs
opt for brands, like Malt O’ Meal, that use less packaging
In the hierarchy of waste management, reduction is ranked as the highest priority, above reuse and recycling. You can start making reduction a priority in your home starting with the grocery store.