Shareholders tell General Mills to reduce plastic use

Media Contacts
Steve Blackledge

Senior Director, Conservation America Campaign, Environment America Research & Policy Center

MINNEAPOLIS – At a General Mills’ annual meeting on Tuesday, a majority of the company’s shareholders voted to pass a resolution to push the company to reduce plastic use and waste.

General Mills is the parent company of well-known brands such as Betty Crocker, Cheerios and Nature Valley. On its website, the company has set goals to increase recycling and reuse of its plastics. The company’s vision, however, fails to include a plastic reduction goal. It states: “Our packaging ambition is that all General Mills brands will design 100% of packaging to be recyclable or reusable by 2030.”

Shareholder Resolution 6 called on the company to include a goal to reduce plastic use. Specifically, the resolution asked General Mills to issue a report on “how the company can increase the scale, pace, and rigor of its sustainable packaging efforts by reducing its absolute plastic packaging use.” In its proxy statement, the management asked shareholders to vote against the measure.

Steve Blackledge, senior director of conservation campaigns for Environment America Research & Policy Center, issued the following statement: 

“Plastic waste is inundating America’s rivers and streams, and clogging the world’s oceans. We need all hands on deck to address this plastic scourge. By committing to reduce its use of plastics, General Mills can be part of the solution.

“A Betty Crocker cake is wonderful and all, but it’s hard to stomach all the plastics that come with these everyday products. Single-use plastics pollute our environment, and we need companies to choose America’s birds, turtles and whales over unneeded waste.

“Thankfully, the shareholders of General Mills agree that the company can and should do more. This is such a positive sign, and we look forward to the company making solid commitments to move beyond plastics.”

staff | TPIN

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