In October 2012, Kraft changed its name to Mondelez International (MDLZ), and spun off its grocery business to a new company called Kraft Foods Group (KRFT). Mondelez retains the snack food part of the business.
Investors Send Message to Kraft Foods on Recyclable Packaging – 29% Support for As You Sow Proposal
Citing Wasted Resources and Risks to Marine Environment, Shareholder Resolution Asks Company to Phase Out Non-Recyclable Packaging
Asserting that non-recyclable packaging is wasting valuable resources, our proposal to Kraft Foods Group received the support of 29.2% of shares voted at the giant food manufacturer’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday, according to data released by the company. The shares favoring the proposal have a market value of more than $9 billion.
The amount of waste generated annually by U.S. sales of just one product package, Capri Sun juice pouches, would circle the globe nearly five times. It’s a tremendous waste to be using non-recyclable packaging when recyclable alternatives are readily available.
As You Sow re-filed an EPR proposal with Mondelez for 2013 and it received a vote result of 9.5%, which maintains pressure on the company while allowing us the option to file a proposal again next year if necessary.
Mondelez and Kraft Foods Group both lag peers on responsibility for post-consumer packaging. While no major consumer products company has yet embraced EPR for packaging in the United States, some competitors have taken encouraging initial steps.
Unilever has acknowledged some responsibility for increasing packaging recycling rates. It made a public commitment to increase recycling rates for packaging it uses in 14 major countries (including the U.S.) where it does business 5% by 2015 and 20% by 2020.
In 2012, we filed a proposal asking Kraft Foods to explore the feasibility of adopting an EPR policy for post-consumer product packaging. A quarter of investors supported our resolution, a very strong initial vote, demonstrating that Kraft's shareholders consider EPR to be a priority issue.
In 2012, As You Sow withdrew a proposal filed with Colgate-Palmolive identical to the one submitted to Kraft after the company agreed to ensure that as much of its post-consumer packaging as possible is recycled, and to develop and disclose goals in support of this commitment within one year. Mondelez and Kraft Foods together represent 70,000 product SKUs, meaning they deal with a wide array of product packaging. They pay millions of dollars in fees in other countries for collection and recycling of packaging but have not recognized a responsibility for dealing with post-consumer packaging in the U.S.
One of Kraft's challenges is putting packaging on the market that cannot be easily recycled like the aluminum plastic laminate pouches used for its Capri Sun and Kool-Aid Jammers juice drinks. After being on the market for more than 30 years, these packages still cannot be recycled anywhere in the world. As a result, thousands of tons of valuable aluminum contained in the pouches have been landfilled rather than recycled. If the company were to adopt EPR policies, it would have stronger incentive to phase out such non-recyclable packaging.
Read more about our engagements with Kraft Foods Group below.