We’re calling on General Mills to reduce its single-use plastic packaging

To protect our wildlife from the tons of plastic dumped into our environment every day, we know we need to stop using so much single-use plastic. And big companies need to take responsibility for the plastic mess they generate.

ZikG | Shutterstock.com

When you think about General Mills, you probably think about your favorite cereal. Getting ready to pour out the perfect ratio of cereal to milk, you lift the cardboard tab and tear open the plastic bag standing between you and your breakfast. Unlike the cardboard cereal box, that plastic bag inside it can’t be recycled in many places.

All that packaging is contributing to overwhelming amounts of plastic littering our rivers and oceans, where it’s choking sea turtles, birds and other wildlife.

As a global company with many popular brands, including Cheerios, Nature Valley, Yoplait and Betty Crocker, most people probably encounter a General Mills product on just about every grocery run. But every time we restock our pantries and fridges, we end up with more plastic than we know what to do with.

Inside the cardboard box of our breakfast cereal, birthday cake mix or even a frozen pizza, there’s usually another layer of packaging — a plastic bag.

That’s not to mention other kinds of plastic packaging like plastic yogurt cups or squeeze tubes, plastic wrappers for granola bars, or the plastic lining inside a tub of ice cream.

This plastic is pervasive — but companies such as General Mills can cut down on plastic food packaging.

To protect our wildlife from the tons of plastic dumped into our environment every day, we know we need to stop using so much single-use plastic. And big companies need to take responsibility for the plastic mess they generate.

So we’re calling on General Mills to use less plastic across its products and lighten the load of plastic we’re forced to deal with. 

When most plastic bags and many containers just can’t be recycled, we know stopping plastic at the source is the best way to deal with this waste problem. Making plastics thinner is one way to use less. And the industry can develop plant-based compostable packaging to replace many of its plastic films, wrappers and containers.

General Mills has pledged to make all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2030. And in September, a majority of the company’s shareholders voted to pass a resolution to tell the company to reduce plastic use and waste. While both of these steps are a good start, when only 5% of plastics in the U.S. are actually recycled, the company should make more solid commitments to move beyond plastic. 

General Mills is already hearing from its shareholders — now, you can add your voice to the call today.

Topics
Authors

Steve Blackledge

Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America

Steve directs Environment America’s efforts to protect our public lands and waters and the species that depend on them. He led our successful campaign to win full and permanent funding for our nation’s best conservation and recreation program, the Land and Water Conservation Fund. He previously oversaw U.S. PIRG’s public health campaigns. Steve lives in Sacramento, California, with his family, where he enjoys biking and exploring Northern California.

Matt Casale

Director, Environment Campaigns, PIRG

Matt oversees PIRG's toxics, transportation and zero waste campaigns and leads PIRG’s climate program to promote a cleaner, healthier future for all Americans. Matt lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, with his wife, two daughters and chihuahua.

Find Out More