ScottsMiracle-Gro 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report: Packaging Initiatives

ScottsMiracle-Gro 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report: Packaging Initiatives

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 9:05am

CAMPAIGN: ScottsMiracle-Gro's 2021 Corporate Responsibility Report

CONTENT: Multimedia with summary

Packaging is critical to multiple aspects of our business. It must be durable enough so that we can deliver on our high product safety and quality standards while withstanding exposure to a wide range of indoor and outdoor environments. Packaging is also critical to the consumer’s product experience. We work hard to ensure every product is clearly labeled, easy to use and designed to prevent misapplication or off-target contact. That’s why our team of specialized packaging engineers apply rigorous standardized methods to design, test and qualify our packaging and application devices.

Beyond product safety, quality and user experience, we also prioritize sustainability considerations when designing packaging. We recognize that many of our customers, consumers and other stakeholders are concerned about the environmental impact of plastic packaging. In many cases, we use plastic because of its durability, which is especially critical to help avoid spills caused by ripped bags or broken bottles, whether on the retail shelf or in a consumer’s home. However, we are highly focused on reducing material usage, increasing recycled content and supporting increased recycling rates, as reflected in our ESG goals.

To reduce the environmental impact of packaging, we have delivered and continue to drive multiple sustainable packaging initiatives, including the following:

  • Redesigning packaging. During the past few years we’ve completed numerous package redesign initiatives which resulted in significant material reduction. We are exploring ways to significantly reduce the size and weight of packages, such as selling more products in concentrated form. We continue to expand package refill offerings, which also reduces the amount of packaging produced. 
  • Increasing recycled content. We continue to increase the amount of recycled material in plastic packaging, which significantly reduces petrochemical use and emissions. We have several initiatives underway to test and qualify the maximum possible recycled content for flexible packaging, including bags and pouches. Our goal is to triple the amount of recycled content in plastic packaging by 2025.
  • Supporting recyclability. We’re increasing the amount of our packaging which is recyclable, reusable or compostable. For some packages we are transitioning to materials which are more compatible with today’s recycling infrastructure. We have begun to utilize the standardized labeling system how2recycle® on our products to clearly communicate recycling and proper disposal instructions to the public. We plan to incorporate this standard into all of our packaging which is not subject to other recycling communication standards required by specific environmental regulations.
  • Sustainable material sourcing. The majority of our paper fiber-based packaging is certified sustainably sourced by the Sustainable Forestry initiative (SFi) or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and we are striving to increase this to 100%.

We continue to prioritize consumer and environmental safety as we explore changes to product packaging and support new product innovation. We are focused on supporting major market trends, such as the shift toward direct-to-consumer delivery, while doing our part to address some of the unique sustainability challenges it brings.

We enthusiastically engage with our retail customers, suppliers and industry trade group partners to tackle the systemic challenges of sustainable packaging, focusing on the issues described above. Through collaborative partnerships, we hope to find lasting solutions to fundamental challenges, such as recycling infrastructure gaps and landfill diversion. We pursue the vision of a circular economy where value can be extracted from post-consumer packaging material and utilized again for the same or another use. 

For more information about our packaging and recycling efforts, please see our highlight story about the post-industrial plastic film scrap recycling program in the operations section of this report.