Happy Family Organics® joined leading companies around the world in making a series of packaging commitments aimed at advancing towards a circular economy – becoming the first organic baby food brand in the US to pledge to make its packaging fully reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025. These ambitions build on the B Corp™ Certified brand's ongoing commitment to environmental transparency and accountability.
"At Happy Family Organics, we're far more than producers of organic baby food. We aim to be pioneers in sustainable agriculture and manufacturing practices, knowing that the health of our planet affects the long-term health of our children," said Anne Laraway, CEO of Happy Family Organics. "These commitments are a step in the right direction, and we recognize that global, systemic change is needed to truly make an impact. As parents, the notion that any of our packaging ends up in landfills is not ok with us. That's why we're partnering with leading sustainability organizations to help scale our initiatives, and we encourage other companies with a mission to serve children to join this global commitment to create a more sustainable future for our kids."
To help in the shift toward a circular economy, Happy Family Organics commits to transforming its packaging in three ways: packaging designed for circularity, preservation of natural resources, and consumer education.
Packaging Designed for Circularity
Currently, 75% of Happy Family Organics packaging by weight is recyclable, but the company wants even more for families today and the planet our children will inherit. Happy Family Organics is committed to making 100% of our packaging recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. The path to recyclability isn't as simple as designing packaging to be recycled. It also requires systemic change to address infrastructure challenges that prevent recyclable materials from being recycled in practice. As such, the company is engaging and collaborating with leading organizations including Closed Loop Partners, Sustainable Packaging Coalition and OSC² to identify and implement initiatives that will ensure the packaging is able to be recycled, reused or composted.
One of Happy Family Organics' primary packaging initiatives is developing a recyclable spouted pouch – a convenient format for parents feeding children on-the-go. While pouches require less energy to produce, use fewer raw materials and have lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to alternatives, the company is acutely aware they still end up in landfills. Currently, there is not a scalable end-of-life solution for multi-layer film, but the company is actively working with suppliers to develop solutions to improve packaging supply chain. This is a global issue and no single group can solve the problem independently. With the support of every member of the value chain, Happy Family Organics can develop an infrastructure that keeps plastic and other materials out of landfills and oceans.
Preservation of Natural Resources
Happy Family Organics not only commits to making our packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable, but we aim to increase the demand for recycled materials. To that end, Happy Family Organics will use an average of 25% recycled material in all rigid plastic packaging by 2025 and ensure zero deforestation in paper packaging. The company already accomplished the latter by using the maximum recycled content possible and ensuring that any additional virgin materials are sustainably sourced. The company's Happy Baby® Clearly Crafted™ Jars are made using 30% recycled content and it working to add post-consumer recycled materials to Happy Baby® Puffs containers to meet this commitment.
Happy Family Organics' passion for sustainable innovation goes beyond company walls. The company continually challenge ourselves to think more broadly about the global impact waste management can have on families everywhere. Currently, only 14% of plastic packaging produced globally is collected for recycling, 40% is landfilled and 32% leaks out of the collection system and flows into the natural environment, particularly the oceans. The company is partnering with Renew Oceans to divert plastic waste from waterways and convert them into fuels, while empowering local communities in the developing world.
Happy Family Organics recognizes that recycling can be confusing for consumers. With variations in recycling programs, unclear labeling and inaccurate recyclability claims, a high concentration of recyclable items end up in landfills due to contamination. The How2Recycle label was created to provide clear recycling instructions and empower consumers through smart packaging labels. The company believes it is responsible for helping further consumer education about recyclability. To that end, it pledges to include the How2Recycle® label on 100% of primary packaging by 2025 – building on its packaging formats that already carry the label – to clearly communicate how to properly dispose of packaging.
With these three commitments, Happy Family Organics will continue to advance the progress it has made to improve the sustainability of our packaging. From right-sizing our top-performing Happy Baby® and Happy Tot® snack packaging, to nearly doubling the amount of recycled content in paperboard boxes, Happy Family Organics is on a journey to provide packaging that reduces the use of virgin materials and leverag scale as a force to drive positive change.