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Hostess homes in on packaging

LENEXA, KAN. — In 2021, Hostess Brands, Inc. set out to find new ways to reduce its carbon footprint. One key initiative that was identified was the elimination of the tin-tie from all Hostess Donettes bags.

According to the company’s just released Corporate Responsibility Report, that “simple change” to Donettes packaging design will allow the annual reduction of 215,000 lbs of steel, 151,000 lbs of plastic and 700 lbs of glue.

“As part of our commitment to reducing our environmental impact, Hostess Brands looks for opportunities, small and large, to reduce waste and its carbon footprint,” a company spokesperson said. “Hostess Donettes bags are sealed in the same manner as they have been for years; we simply removed the tin-ties as we determined removing tin-ties did not affect product or packaging quality at the time of sale. Small steps like these can add up, and we’ll continue to look at everything we do through a sustainability lens.”

The Donettes tin-tie removal initiative is part of Hostess’ broader package lifestyle management program.

“As a packaged food company, we are keenly aware of our potential impact on the environment from energy consumed to packaging used and discarded,” the company noted in the report. “We are continuously engaging with our packaging suppliers to find ways to purchase more material made from recycled content; to develop alternative ways to package that reduces non-recyclable materials and to reduce packaging needs without reducing the quality of our products.”

Hostess said it is working with its supply chain department to reduce packaging overall through innovative shipping solutions, reduction of packaging thickness and weight, reusable displays at retail, and other initiatives. The company has made significant progress, including a transition to 100% recyclable folding cartons and 100% recyclable cardboard. Hostess also said about 60% of the cardboard it purchases is made from recycled content, which is up from 40% a year ago. In addition, about 80% of the packaging the company uses and sells to customers and consumers is recyclable.

“In addition to our packaging-related efforts, we also are continuously working to reduce waste and the impact on the environment throughout our operations including transitioning to electronic communication and documentation as opposed to printing where possible,” the company said.