MEXICO CITY — As part of a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint, Grupo Bimbo announced its launch of Mexico’s first compostable packaging for bread. The action was among initiatives presented at an event held on Aug. 20 in Mexico City, which the company titled, "Innovation and commitment to responsible waste management."
In the forum, Daniel Servitje, president and chief executive officer of Grupo Bimbo S.A.B. de C.V.; Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, Ph.D.; Mario Molina, Ph.D., winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry; Mtra. Dolores Barrientos, Mexico´s United Nations Environment representative; and Anne-Marie Delort, Ph.D., director of research of the National Center of Recherch Scientifique, Institute of Chemistry of the University of Clermont-Ferrand in France discussed the benefits of compostable packaging and Grupo Bimbo’s actions for integral and responsible waste management as part of its global strategy for environmental sustainability.
Grupo Bimbo’s initiatives are aimed at reducing the use of plastic in all the company's processes through the development of recyclable, biodegradable and/or compostable materials and alliances for linear and circular recycling promoting economic cycles.
“We believe this is a multi-faceted solution,” said Alejandra Vazquez, global environmental management director, Grupo Bimbo. “Different countries have different problems with plastic, and we are using innovation — reducing the thickness of the plastic or the size of the package — to help incentivize recycling efforts.”
Grupo Bimbo has reduced packaging material by 25% and has optimized package sizes while maintaining product freshness.
While the use of this new material is not intended to replace recycling efforts, it may act as a backup if the material ends up in a landfill instead of a recycling center.
“If, for any reason, someone drops this plastic or keeps it from a recycling source, it can biodegrade in three to five years,” Ms. Vazquez said.
Around the world, Grupo Bimbo has worked and promoted efforts to combat climate change through the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency and waste disposal, among others. Grupo Bimbo’s commitment is for 100% of its packaging to be recyclable, biodegradable and/or compostable by 2025. Currently, about 80% of all Grupo Bimbo packaging is recyclable.
This new compostable format will be used in the Pan Bimbo Vital bread products beginning in October. From there, the company will focus on those global regions that are faced with specific challenges in waste management such as Latin America and Southeast Asia.
“This is the first step we take as a company, globally, in the use of compostable packages through innovation,” Mr. Servitje said of the compostable packaging launch. “This achievement motivates us to continue looking for new solutions to mitigate the impact of plastics on the environment. I am convinced and committed, personally and professionally, that it is possible to achieve a Mexico — and a world — free from contamination by plastic.”