DEERFIELD, ILL. — From wood boxes and decorated tins to cardboard and plastic containers, packaging for Oreo cookies has changed dramatically in the 106 years since the crème filled chocolate sandwich cookies were introduced. In the years ahead, Oreo packaging will be updated yet again – this time to utilize only recyclable materials.

On Oct. 9, Mondelez International Inc. announced all of its packaging will be recyclable by 2025. Also in the next seven years, Mondelez will provide consumers with recycling information about all its products.

 “As the global snacking leader, we’re committing to using sustainably-sourced materials and recyclable packaging as part of our active contribution to reduce packaging waste and establish a circular economy for packaging,” said Robin S. (Rob) Hargrove, executive vice-president, research, development, quality and innovation. “Plastic waste and its impact on the planet is a broad, systemic issue that our consumers care deeply about, and which requires a holistic response. Together with partners from across the industry, as well as public and private entities, we can help to develop practical solutions that result in a positive environmental impact.”

Mondelez said the initiative is part of a company-wide vision for zero-net waste packaging. To realize this aspiration, Mondelez will help make it easier for consumers to recycle packaging and will support industry coalitions aimed at increasing the percentage of products recycled. The latest commitment includes numerous elements:

  • All packaging will be made with recyclable material by 2025. Design guidelines for circular economy will be provided to packaging makers together with materials to use or avoid in Mondelez packaging.
  • Paper-based packaging will be sustainably sourced by 2020.
  • 65 million kilograms of packaging material will be eliminated globally by 2020. The company already has successfully removed 53.5million kilograms of materials over the last five years.
  • Recycling information will be provided by 2025, making it easier for consumers to recycle or re-use product packages.
  • Industry coalitions and public-private partnerships to develop waste-management infrastructure to reduce waste and improve recycling rates around the globe will be supported.

The initiative will build on progress Mondelez has made over the last several years, the company said. For instance, the company’s current Oreo cookies packaging have been made 23% thinner, reducing the need for about 1.5 million kilograms of cartons each year.

Mondelez said the effort is consistent with the company’s objective of “empowering people to snack right by offering the right snack, at the right time, in the right way.”

“This includes ensuring that the company’s products are made with ingredients that are sustainably sourced, produced and delivered, with positive impact along the supply chain,” Mondelez said.