Innovative, Sustainable Packaging

At Sonoco we recognize the critical importance of developing sustainable packaging solutions that will protect and preserve our planet for future generations. We also recognize holistic solutions of any kind require genuine curiosity, focused thought and an exploration of new ideas, materials and processes that can help answer the challenge before us.

And while the end result may take the form of a package, getting there demands a special mindset, a unique perspective, passionate curiosity, and an authentic commitment to truly change the world we live in. This is what has led us to the creation of EnviroSense™ from Sonoco.

Our EnviroSense portfolio crosses a range of packaging materials, including cans made from 100-percent recycled paperboard, rigid plastic packaging containing post-consumer recycled content, mono-material flexible pouches that are recyclable, and innovative packaging made from agricultural fibers.

It goes beyond just a portfolio of packaging, it’s a way of thinking, a sensibility and a philosophy that guides our development of innovative, more sustainable packaging.


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Delivering versatility in sustainability

What makes EnviroSense™?

Recycled Content*

Recycled Content*

We make products like PET rigid plastic containers that use a minimum 50% recycled content. We are committed to increasing the use of post-consumer recycled resins in our plastic packaging from 19% to 25% by 2025.

*Made with a percentage of post- or pre-consumer recycled material. Post-consumer material has completed its intended purpose and recycled into a useful raw material. Pre-consumer materials are un-sold products or material created during the process of manufacturing; examples include damaged or aged inventory, clippings or trimmings that cannot be used back in the original manufacturing process.

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Sonoco is committed to helping customer and Sonoco-owned facilities achieve significant milestones in landfill diversion. Compostable packaging helps us achieve these goals by keeping waste out of landfills and helping to return nutrients to the soil. 

*Packaging that biodegrades under a controlled process in a managed composting system. Claims of compostability should be accompanied by recognized testing and certification; they should identify industrial or home compostability.

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The creation of more easily recyclable consumer packging is a goal we are working toward at Sonoco. For example, EnviroFlex PE™, part of our EnviroSense™ portfolio, is eligible for the Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) How2Recycle label. It can be dropped off at grocery stores for recycling (if clean and dry) with grocery bags. As a company our recycling related goals include ensuring that approximately 75% of its global rigid plastic packaging is capable of making the relevant on-package recyclable claim by 2025. We are also committed to by 2025 increasing, by weight, the amount we recycle, or cause to be recycled, from 65% to 85%, relative to the volume of product we put into the global marketplace.

*Packaging that meets the requirements for carrying a recyclable label in accordance with ISO 14021 or the FTC’s Guidance on Environmental Marketing Claims. This includes the ability to be collected from consumers, sorted, and processed into a marketing recycled material.

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At Sonoco, we focus on quality solutions that keep the customer at the forefront of the solution. This mindset allows us to create reusable packaging for everything from temperature-sensitive pharmaceuticals to pre-made snack pouches and bags. 

*Packaging that is returned a specified number of times to be refilled/reused for its original purpose.

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Reduced Environmental Impact*

Reduced Environmental Impact*

It's not enough to recycle and use sustainable products. We're also committed to reducing our overall environmental impact.

Sonoco will not utilize resin additives that purport to degrade in landfills or waterways by simply breaking up into smaller pieces. We also ensure all of our production facilities utilizing plastic pellets have systems to prevent environmental discharge of these pellets.

We judge environmental impact using PIQET Life Cycle Assesment tools.

*Per a PIQET streamlined life cycle assessment, demonstrates reduced impact in GHG emissions, water use, energy use, and or solid waste.

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Responsible Fiber Sourcing*

Responsible Fiber Sourcing*

From rigid paper containers to our tubes and cores, we have a large portfolio of fiber-based products. We strive to responsibly source this fiber whenever possible. That means we are not involved in unacceptable forestry practices including: 

  • Illegal logging or trade in illegal wood or forest products
  • Violation of traditional and human rights in forestry operations
  • Destruction of high conservation values in forestry operations
  • Signficant conversion of frests to plantation or non-forest use
  • Introduction of genetically modified organisms in forestry operations

*Either recycled fiber, or wood fiber from known and responsible sources (FSC, PEFC or SFI preferred); or agricultural waste fiber.

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Bio-Based Content*

Bio-Based Content*

Products, like those made from agricultural fiber, recycled paper, and other plant-based materials like sugarcane by-products, can be recyclable, repulpable, and biodegradable, all while offering functionality and convenience.  

*Material derived from renewable biomass such as wood fiber, grasses, sugar cane, crops or agricultural waste. Not all bio-based packaging is biodegradable.

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Packaging Optimization*

Packaging Optimization*

Our optimized packaging solutions include lightweight materials and packaging formats that make the best use of space. We also focus on improving shelf life and protecting against damage in transport so that we can reduce the amount of waste that gets created after your product leaves the packaging facility. All of these innovations allow us to make transportation and delivery more efficient and environmentally conscious, reducing the overall environmental footprint of the supply chain. 

*Packaging that is the minimum adequate weight or volume for meeting the necessary requirements of the product being packaged.

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Introducing Sonoco's EcoSeal™ Paper-Bottom Can

One of the newest members of our EnviroSense™ family of sustainable packaging, the EcoSeal™ can provides the strength and performance of Sonoco’s traditional paperboard container, with the added feature of a customizable paper bottom. The EcoSeal can is also eligible for How2Recycle® “Check Locally” labeling, which is great for your brand and your customers. A project of the Sustainable Packaging Coalition® (SPC), How2Recycle is a standardized labeling system to ensure packaging clearly communicates recycling instructions to the public in accordance with Federal Trade Commission Green Guides. Offering speed-to-market, with a low capital investment, our EcoSeal container is perfect for short-run initiatives—like holiday promotions, new product trials and small SKUs.

Get the EcoSeal Brochure

New EnviroFlex PE™ Brings Flexibility to Sustainability

A new member of our EnviroSense family is the recently developed EnviroFlexPE™ recyclable, polyethylene flexible packaging. Ideal for a wide range of foods from confections, dry and dehydrated foods, to produce, the EnviroFlexPE™ pouch is eligible to use the How2Recycle® Store Drop-Off label, which means it can be dropped off (clean and dry) at local retail stores for recycling with grocery bags. EnviroFlex Pe:
• Runs on both vertical and horizontal form-fill-seal machines
• Is available as a premade pouch
• Can be offered with and without barrier properties

Introducing Natrellis™ Sugarcane-based Packaging

One of the first sugarcane-based packaging options for single-serve meals, Natrellis™ represents a sweet new addition to Sonoco’s expanding assortment of EnviroSense™ packaging solutions. Natrellis recycles sugarcane fiber left over from the sugar milling process to form non-bleached, molded fiber trays and bowls for frozen and fresh meals that can be cooked in either microwave or conventional ovens. The Natrellis manufacturing facility in Belle Grade, Florida, is partially run on renewable biomass power from nearby sugar mills and solar energy, making for an extremely efficient and sustainable operation overall.

Learn more about Natrellis™

Does EnviroSense™ make sense for you?

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