Nature Valley leads the way to a more recyclable future

Nature Valley has launched the first-ever How2Recycle approved Store Drop-Off recyclable snack bar wrapper, an innovation that has been three years in the making.
Nature Valley Crunchy bars with recycle banner

A sustainable solution

The brand with nature in its name is making big moves toward a more sustainable future with the launch of the first-ever How2Recycle approved Store Drop-Off recyclable snack bar wrapper.

“This is the first time we have a solution for our wrapper. And we think this is the right thing to do,” says Ashley Soukup, senior associate brand manager, Nature Valley. “By choosing not to patent the wrapper and calling upon others in the industry to move to these types of materials, we hope that this advancement will not just change how General Mills operates, but how the industry operates so we can truly use our scale for good.”

Soukup shares five things you need to know about Nature Valley’s new wrapper in this video.

To recycle the wrapper, all you need to do is to bring it to a Store Drop-Off bin – a system already in place at major retail stores that collects certain plastic bags, films and other eligible plastic films that can’t be recycled in curbside recycling bins.

Once recycled, the material can be turned into playground sets, decking material, fencing, and furniture – all things that can help get people outside more often.  

Overcoming R&D hurdles

General Mills R&D scientists conducted dozens of tests to ensure the wrapper would pass the strict recyclability test while maintaining the product’s flavor and texture, not an easy feat, especially during a pandemic.

“We were challenged in every aspect,” says George Tuszkiewicz, senior R&D engineer. “Getting materials when we needed them and pivoting to virtual-based trials were big hurdles we had to overcome.”  

Despite the challenges, the team had the persistence to keep iterating and to keep moving forward.  

“I have never seen so many layers of people within an organization so excited to bring their best to work like this,” says Soukup. “Seeing the power of having a common cause that people really believe in and seeing everyone put their heart into the work has blown me away.”  

The new wrapper is rolling out on Nature Valley’s Crunchy bar line in the U.S. and will extend to the rest of the portfolio by 2025.

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