Grocery chain Wegmans has announced it has made changes to some of its product packaging, moving towards more sustainable options. To meet its goals of reducing in-store plastic packaging made from fossil fuels, along with other single-use plastics by 10 million pounds by 2024, Wegmans has changed the carton material of its own brand eggs from foam to molded fiber.
“We decided to make the switch to paper pulp cartons because we heard from customers that wanted a fiber, paper option,” said Ron Indovina, Wegmans dairy and frozen category merchant.
The move comes as many in the food industry and private label space are looking to come out with sustainable products that help fight climate change, as well as entice consumers.
Wegmans and its sustainability team worked with the chain’s egg supplier, Kreher Family Farms, to find a new carton. In April 2021, the paper pulp cartons were launched at Wegmans stores in Massachusetts for an 8-week test. The pilot was successful, and the cartons were rolled out company-wide in early summer. All of Wegmans brand eggs are now available in a paper pulp carton that is recyclable, biodegradable, and compostable.
The new cartons are made of 100% post-consumer recycled newsprint and paper products instead of polystyrene foam. Wegmans says the switch will eliminate 625,000 pounds of foam from the company’s stores every year.
“We are eliminating foam packaging wherever possible,” said packaging and sustainability category merchant Jason Wadsworth. “Foam is not widely recyclable and never will be. The new cartons are a better option and are more widely recycled.”