SMITHFIELD, VA. – In an announcement that coincides with Global Recycling Day on March 17, Smithfield Foods Inc. announced on March 15, its commitment to transition to using packaging that is 90% recyclable or compostable by 2030, as part of a companywide campaign that also includes cutting its use of petroleum-based plastic by 50%.

To achieve the goals, the company has formed a team to develop alternative packaging options and reduce the use of plastic. The effort is part of Smithfield’s zero-waste-to-landfill program, with a goal of slashing the amount of solid waste it sends to landfills by 75% by 2025. Currently the cross-functional team is focused on replacing polystyrene trays. 

Stewart Leeth, chief sustainability officer for Smithfield said the latest commitment builds on the company’s ongoing efforts to bolster its sustainability goals, which included using trays made from 50% recyclable material when it launched its plant-based Pure Farmland brand in 2019.

“Continual efforts to innovate packaging in favor of materials that can be recycled, reused and composted is an important component of holistic, sustainable food production,” Leeth said. “As a food-industry sustainability pioneer, Smithfield recognizes the importance of continuing to explore new ways to build upon our ambitious commitments and reduce waste across production and operations.”