One of the most popular brands of mayonnaise in the United States is making a big push toward sustainability through the use of recycled plastics.
Hellmann's mayo, which is owned by consumer product giant Unilever, is transitioning to 100 percent recycled PET for its containers sold in retail stores in the United States, with squeeze bottles hitting the shelves first, followed by jars by the end of this year.
Unilever, the multinational consumer products company that owns the brand, estimates that more than 200 million bottles and jars will be converted to 100 percent recycled content each year.
The new bottles initially will not feature recycled content in their labeling or closures, but the company said it continues to work on those aspects of packaging. The new packaging also will include the How2Recycle label developed by the Sustainable Packaging Coalition that provides consumer recycling instructions.
“We are actively researching ways to make all components of our packaging from 100 percent recycled materials, and this is the first step on that journey,” the company said on its website.
Unilever is developing new packaging to improve recyclability, including "redesigning our shrink sleeves so they easily separate from our bottles at the recycling facility, as well as inserting floatable silicon valves in our squeeze bottle caps, which helps prevent contamination during the recycling process.”
The company indicated it does not have “exact timing now” on any possible transition to making all packaging 100 percent recyclable and made from 100 percent recycled materials, the company said in an email interview.
“Currently we use polypropylene for the lids on Hellmann's jars and ... polypropylene for the caps on our squeeze bottles,” the company indicated.
Hellmann's is a sister brand to Best Foods mayonnaise. The Hellmann's brand is marketed east of the Rocky Mountains while Best Foods mayonnaise is a popular brand in the West.
The initiative also includes Best Foods mayonnaise packaging, the company said.
“We can't share where we source our materials, but we are working with our suppliers to ensure we have enough food grade recycled resin to meet demand,” the company added in the email interview.