USA – Vertically integrated manufacturer of flexible packaging, St. Johns Packaging has developed bread bags containing up to 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content.

The company claims that these bags have the same performance as traditional bags but with a lower carbon footprint, thereby reducing the environmental impact of the packaging.

Veronica Ataya, director of marketing and innovation at St. Johns Packaging says: “With so many companies making sustainability commitments for 2025, our bags with PCR content can help companies achieve their goals.”

The company also recognizes the importance of maintaining the recyclability of polyethylene bags. Even with the incorporation of PCR content, the bags continue to be recyclable at collection bins outside major retailers.

St. Johns Packaging believes in developing solutions with the circular economy in mind. The company reported the use of PCR content contributes to the circularity of plastics, giving value to the recycled material and promoting its use in other packaging products, thus closing the loop on plastics.

The new development comes at a time when bakers are increasingly looking to invest in sustainable packaging amid increased environmental concerns, government regulations and consumer demand. 

As reported by Baking Business, ninety-five percent of bakers who attended the American Bakers Association (ABA) webinar said at least some of their packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable.

However, 46% said their material is only up to 25% recyclable, demonstrating that there’s plenty of room for them to boost their sustainability efforts.

The PCR bags are likely a first step for bakeries looking to reduce their carbon footprint via packaging, Ms. Ataya said.

But down the line, she predicted 100% carbon-neutral bags to eventually emerge as both environmental regulations strengthen, and bakeries follow the lead of other companies.

Moving down the line, bread bag closures have become more sustainable as well. Kwik Lok introduced Fibre-Lok to the United States last year, its sustainable alternative to plastic bag closures.

Fibre-Lok closures are composed of natural cellulose wood and are made with 100% PCR paper. The company also offers its Eco-Lok closures, made with up to 20% less fossil fuel-based ingredients and requiring up to 20% less greenhouse gases to make.

“We’re trying to help bakers come up with the best solution for them in both trying to reach their sustainability goals but at the same time, manage the bottom line,” said Karen Reed, global director of marketing and communications, Kwik Lok.

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