- Organic egg brand Pete and Gerry’s debuted a reusable egg carton at four Co-Op Food Stores in New Hampshire and Vermont, according to a release from the supplier.
- The cartons, which retail for $2.99, are made from recycled BPA-free plastic and are refillable from a display of loose eggs that are discounted from a standard dozen to allow consumers to compensate for the initial investment in reusable packaging.
- "We plan to expand this program in 2020 to reach even more consumers and amplify the program's impact with major retailers clamoring for this type of sustainable innovation," said Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs CEO Jesse Laflamme, in a release.
While it could initially be cumbersome to convince consumers to bring yet another reusable package to the store for a refill, Pete & Gerry's says it's financially beneficial for customers to make the investment. Although the discount for unpackaged versus packaged eggs is small, it adds up over time.
Fast Company reported the company has sold 500 reusable cartons in six weeks across the four stores where it's running the pilot program.
Customers have proven to be sufficiently interested in sustainable and reusable packaging, so many big brands have responded with updates. SaltWater Brewery of Delray Beach, Florida, is using a biodegradable and compostable six-pack ring design made from wheat and barley instead of plastic. Danish brewing giant Carlsberg is now in the prototype phase on its initiative to produce a sustainable, bio-based, fully recyclable beer bottle called the "Green Fibre Bottle." General Mills' Oui yogurt line from Yoplait uses glass jars instead of plastic cups.
Back in May, Loop, an e-commerce site that sends household products from more than two dozen major manufacturers in reusable containers, launched, with Kroger and Walgreens as participating retailers.
And more big packaging changes are on the way. Experts predict that eco-friendly packaging will be one of the top five food packaging trends for 2020, and brands are already making big announcements. Next year, Coca-Cola plans aluminum bottles for Dasani, as well as a 20-ounce HybridBottle made with up to 50% plant-based renewable and recycled PET plastic.
According to the American Egg Board, each American consumes an average of 287 eggs per year. Doing the math, that translates to nearly 24 cartons worth. Even if only the 500 participants from the pilot continue to use reusable packaging, that is 12,000 plastic egg cartons per year that will be saved from the landfill.