During 2015, packaging redesign and related shipping efficiencies generated our greatest material and dollar savings.

Two-thirds of our products with packages large enough for the How2Recycle label now include it.

We set the goal to improve 60 percent of our global packaging volume by 2015. And we more than came through.

We exceeded our target, improving 70 percent through 2015.

General Mills uses four key indicators to assess progress in improving packaging environmental performance: 

  • Reducing the package-to-product ratio 
  • Increasing recycled content and recyclability
  • Increasing renewable and compostable content
  • Fitting more products onto each truck for transport

Collaborative innovation

In 2015, we collaborated with suppliers to improve the liners of bulk product totes that carry our cereals between manufacturing facilities for use in other products.

We transitioned from a single layer film, composed of a blend of plastics, to a thinner film with discrete layers of different resins. This provides the same durability and product protection, while saving 140 metric tons of film annually.

Twenty percent more of these liners fit on each delivery truck, removing the equivalent of six tractor trailer loads from the roads each year.

We also reduce packaging use by improving existing designs.

Recycled materials and recyclability

Recycled content represents approximately 49 percent of the weight of our product packaging in the U.S., and approximately 84 percent is recyclable.

In 2015, 99 percent of the fiber packaging General Mills purchased was sustainably sourced.

We continue working to increase our use of recycled and recyclable materials while maintaining product quality and safety.

In addition, we were one of the first companies to feature How2Recycle labels, beginning in 2013, to clearly communicate recycling instructions to the public.

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2016 Annual Report

150 years of growth 

Global Responsibility

2016 report