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Better for the planet. Better for your brand.

We're serious about sustainability, and we offer the broadest portfolio of packaging materials in the industry. That means you can rely on us for a range of sustainability solutions. Using our market insights, expertise, and capabilities, you can find the packaging that meets your customers' wants and needs.

Named Most Responsible Company

We were recently named to Newsweek's 2021 Most Responsible Company list. We're proud of this distinction—we take our corporate responsibility commitments seriously. See how we're tackling tough issues, delivering innovative packaging solutions and meeting important standards.

Minimizing Food Waste

We tackle tough issues.

According to the NRDC, 40% of food in the U.S. is never eaten. According to the EPA, discarded food represents 21% of waste to landfill in the U.S. Much of this discarded food is never even sold—largely because it is damaged or expired. 

We've developed a partnership at Clemson to advance fresh food packaging and distribution and reduce food waste. We're committed to constant innovation in part because we understand packaging plays an important role in preventing spoilage at retail and at home in several ways:

  • physical protection to prevent damage;
  • barrier protection to delay spoilage;
  • security features to prevent tampering;
  • properties to promote shelf stability;
  • more efficient portion control;
  • and even marketing that encourages food sales.

Incredibly Versatile. Infinitely Recyclable.

Sonoco’s commitment to sustainable materials can be found on store shelves across the globe. From aerosol cans containing household cleaners and beauty products to food cans filled with everything from vegetables to fish, our metal packaging solutions are infinitely recyclable.

In fact, metal food packaging has the highest recycling rate of all food packaging—and working with recycled steel has a lower environmental impact, requiring 75% less greenhouse gas emissions than producing cans with virgin steel.

  • 62% recycling rate of steel cans 
  • 75% of all steel produced is still in circulation 
  • Steel cans are 100% recyclable

Eco-Friendly Solutions for All Types of Packaging

Recyclable Pouches & Wraps

Eligible for the How2Recycle® Store Drop-Off label

Recyclable Pouches & Wraps

Our EnviroFlex™ technology demonstrates a reduced impact in GHG emissions, water use, energy use and/or solid waste (based on the PIQET streamlined life cycle assessment).  

Our EnviroFlex products are made with recyclable packaging eligible for the How2Recycle® Store Drop-Off label. This means it can be dropped off at local retail stores for recycling with grocery bags. 

Our pouches and wraps are great for a range of products from cookies, crackers and confections to home, personal care and pet food.

Reuse & Recycle Wooden Reels

Program saves 300,000 trees over five years. 

Reuse & Recycle Wooden Reels

Through the EcoReel® recycling program, Sonoco collects used reels from utility companies, contractors and distributors, refurbishing them and then returning them to wire and cable manufacturers for reuse.

As the program brings reels full circle, it makes reel recycling easy for customers, saving them the cost of disposal and landfill fees, helping them fulfill their sustainability commitments and reporting data on the number of reels returned, the number of trees saved the cubic yards of dumpster space avoided and the estimated disposal cost saved.

In one 5-year period, Sonoco received nearly 1 million tons of reels for recycling, saving end users more than $36 million in disposal costs—and saving more than 300,000 trees.

Temperature Assurance Packaging

Box rental, re-engineered

Temperature Assurance Packaging

Sonoco Thermosafe’s Orion r® parcel rentals are simple, smart, and sustainable.

Ideal for life sciences, biopharmaceuticals and healthcare, Orion temperature-controlled boxes are engineered to last considerably longer than rival packaging and can be re-used over and over.

This rental packaging operates within a closed loop system. It's comprised of network stations and global distribution partners that actively manage the continuous supply of readily available rental boxes. Our fast-expanding global footprint means a lower carbon footprint.

At the end of its life, an Orion box is dismantled and largely recycled with minimum impact on the waste stream.

Paperboard Barrier Coating

Compostable product that won't crack in scores and folds

Paperboard Barrier Coating

FlexSHIELD™ is the first fully compostable, recyclable and repulpable product that provides polyethylene-like protection at an economical price point. FlexSHIELD won’t crack in scores and folds, protecting containers against water, oil, grease, sauces and toppings, ultimately preventing leaks, stains and spills. 

FlexSHIELD is certified compostable by BNQ using ASTM methods, meeting the toughest international standards of environmental excellence.  

  • FlexSHIELD outperforms polyethylene, which isn’t compostable or recyclable, as well as corn-based resins like PLA, which are expensive and can contain GMOs. 
  • Boxes treated with FlexSHIELD are FDA, CFIA and EUR compliant for direct food contact. 
  • FlexSHIELD uses an aqueous-based barrier coating for folding carton applications.

Explore Our EnviroSense® Portfolio

These are just a few of our eco-friendly packaging options. View all of our sustainability products, and get in touch with us to design a custom package that fits your needs.

Sonoco Performance Standards

Certified Sourcing

Sonoco is committed to responsible use of natural resources through responsible sourcing, recycling and use of recycled fiber in our paper-based packaging. With limited exceptions, Sonoco’s global paperboard mills use 100% recycled fiber and are certified one or more fiber certification programs. These are: the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®), Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification™ (PEFC™) Chain of Custody and Due Diligence System Standards.

External Failure Cost 

External Failure Cost per million dollars of sales is calculated by dividing the gross dollars issued for customer failures by the total gross sales dollars. Calculations include all money paid to a customer for product and service failures including product returns, allowances for poor quality, regrade labor, additional freight or other costs paid to a customer based on poor quality.
External Failure Costs (per million dollars of sales): 

  • 2015: 1,861
  • 2016: 1,710
  • 2017: 1,743
  • 2018: 1,682
  • 2019: 2,325

Speed to Market 

Sonoco is increasing our quality and speed to market through our Sonoco Performance System (SPS) process. SPS drives sustainable, continuous improvement in all aspects of operations by focusing on employee engagement, education and data-based decision making that together will:

  • Improve safety
  • Support growth and our relationship with customers
  • Allow more time to focus on productivity and process improvement
  • Optimize a more flexible workforce to meet challenging business demands
  • Create a culture of clearly aligned metrics, accountability and process 

Connect with Sonoco

Our integrated packaging solutions help define brand personalities, create unique customer interactions and improve the quality of products and the quality of life for people around the world. Let's work together.