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The Quest for Sustainable Packaging at Justin’s (Guest Post)

We partnered with Justin’s for January’s Pinecone Birdfeeder project, but their sustainability efforts are anything but for the birds.

As a socially responsible company ourselves, we admire and support other companies who share our commitment to the greater good, which is just one of the reasons why we fell in love with Justin’s. (Their Chocolate Hazelnut Butter is a close second.) Many companies tout their social responsibility, but most aren’t transparent about the challenges they face. We’re thrilled to share this post from guest author Rick Morris from Justin’s, about how their company is taking an unconventional approach to these challenges and paving the way for sustainability across industries. Read on to learn more, and be sure to enter our Justin’s Giveaway to win $100 worth of their amazing nut butters and candy.
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Since Justin’s started putting nut butters into squeeze packs in 2006, we have been actively searching for more sustainable packaging. Our goal is to solve two unintended consequences of having a nut butter squeeze pack: non-renewable packaging and landfill waste. As of today, the technology does not exist to create a fully sustainable squeeze pack film that is also compostable for gels, oils and nut butters – and what’s worse is that no one seems to care. That is until Justin’s hosted the first ever Sustainable Squeeze Pack Summit in October 2010. The summit was held to rally support to begin the process of creating a sustainable squeeze pack. Held in Boulder, Colorado, attendees included packaging experts from firms like CP Flex Packaging and Flextec, squeeze pack product manufacturers like Powerbar Gel and Artisana, and sustainable enthusiasts like Alex Bogusky and Hunter Lovins.

Industry professionals and sustainable guru’s gathered for one common purpose – to discover a solution for a compostable squeeze pack. Since the summit, it has been an ongoing journey of learning, trial and error and collaboration with other forward thinking brands in the food industry. Justin’s has since created two semi-successful squeeze packs. One is an innovia pack, which is a plant based cellulose structure and the second is a PLA, which is a corn-based structure. Justin’s soon hopes to begin production on a 66% renewable squeeze pack, made from the innovia pack.

Justin’s sustainable efforts don’t stop with the squeeze pack.

  • We use post-consumer recycled (PCR) jars.
  • The ingredients are sourced as locally and sustainably as possible, with all of the nuts sourced from California, New Mexico, and Oregon, then sent to Colorado where the products are manufactured. Check out their carbon footprint calculator, The Dirt on Nuts.
  • The organic palm fruit oil comes from one of the only Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil certified farms in the world
  • Our chocolate is Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • NO PPO
  • As of 2007 all US Almonds have to be pasteurized before fit for human consumption due to recent outbreaks of Salmonella. Most Almonds are treated with the chemical and known carcinogen propylene oxide (PPO) while Justin’s pays a premium to have all of the almonds steam pasteurized.
  • NO GMO’s
  • NO VOC-Justin’s uses Zero VOC inks on their cartons and squeeze pack
  • BPA free and PCR jars
  • The cartons, boxes and caddies are made with wind power
  • All cardboard is made with 100% recycled paper

As such a small company, we at Justin’s acknowledge that we can’t be as sustainable as we’d like to be, but will continue to support efforts that push the industry to take part in more sustainable practices.

To learn more about our efforts, and check in on our progress, join our email list here.

** Enter to win $100 worth of Justin’s amazing nut butters and candy by January 19th!.**

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