Sustainable packaging in the food delivery industry is a common topic of conversation. Meal kit company Blue Apron is trying to address the problem.
The company has set a goal of 100% recycled and compostable meal kit packaging and 75% total recycled content by 2025.
“With these new goals, we are building on our history of sustainability through food waste reduction, packaging improvements and ingredient standards,” Blue Apron CEO Linda Findley Kozlowski said. “We estimate that our meal kit packaging is currently 85% recyclable by weight, and we are the first major meal kit company in the United States to use only drain-safe frozen gel packs in all of our boxes. While we’ve made significant progress, we recognize that our next big opportunity is further improvements in packaging across our business.”
One of the original meal kit companies, Blue Apron was founded in 2012 in New York City. The company quickly expanded and opened a fulfillment center in California in 2014. Blue Apron became the first meal kit company to go public in 2015 but has struggled to maintain profitability. Findley Kozlowski took over as a CEO in 2019.
Sustainability has been important to the company. Blue Apron was the first major meal kit company to join the U.S. Food Loss & Waste 2030 Champions, an effort by the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce food waste. The company estimates that it had exceeded its goal of reducing food waste in its fulfillment center operations by 50% between 2017 and 2019.
The company is also the only major meal kit company in the United States to have publicly established goals around animal welfare standards.
“Carbon offsets are not the sole solution to improving sustainability,” Findley Kozlowski said. “We are working to reduce the environmental impact of the full production and waste process in our operations to minimize our impact right from the start of the cycle.”
To achieve its new packaging goals, Blue Apron is planning the following routes:
- Using dynamic packaging
- Identifying new packaging opportunities
- Engaging the right partners