Mondelēz International

Asserting that unrecyclable packaging wastes resources and contributes to the growing pollution of world oceans, our 2014 shareholder resolution asking Mondelez International to assess the risks on unrecyclable brand packaging received 28.4% shareholder support representing $11.8 billion worth of shares at the food manufacturer’s annual meeting. Using unrecyclable packaging when alternatives are available leads to increased use of virgin materials and wastes enormous amounts of valuable resources that could be reused many times over.

Read our press release

In October 2012, Kraft changed its name to Mondelez International (MDLZ), and spun off its grocery business to a new company called Kraft Foods Group (KRFT). Mondelez retains the snack food part of the business. As You Sow re-filed an extended producer responsibility (EPR) proposal with Mondelez for 2013, receiving a vote result of 9.5%, which maintains pressure on the company while allowing us the option to file the proposal again if necessary.

oreo pouchesWatch our new video Designed to be Waste to learn more about the issue of unrecyclable laminate/aluminum foil pouches.

Many Mondelez products, including family favorites like Oreo cookies, are packaged in thin, unrecyclable plastic film, when they could easily be sold in cardboard packaging. In our new video Designed to Be Waste, Captain Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Institute, notes that the most common microplastics found in ocean debris are thin plastic films like those used to package Oreo cookies.

Another concern is the growing trend of companies using pouches made of aluminum foil/plastic laminate to package cookies, juices, and other foods and snacks. This packaging cannot be recycled into new pouches and is rarely collected for any kind of post-consumer recovery. Mondelez sells many products in these pouches, including bite-size Mini Oreos and Mini Chips Ahoy! cookies. Shareholders should be concerned that the company is selling packaging that is designed to be dumped in a landfill. There is no reason to be marketing unrecyclable packaging to kids and families when better alternatives have been on the market for decades.

On the issue of responsibility for recycling post-consumer packaging, Mondelez lags its peers. While no major consumer products company has yet embraced EPR for packaging in the United States, some competitors have taken encouraging initial steps. Unilever has acknowledged some responsibility for increasing packaging recycling rates. It made a public commitment to increase recycling rates for packaging it uses in 14 major countries (including the U.S.) where it does business 5% by 2015 and 20% by 2020. We’d like to see Mondelez match or exceed that commitment.

As demonstrated by Colgate’s announcement that they are transitioning to 100% recyclable packaging for three of four product divisions by 2020, companies can work with investors to create better packaging and improve their environmental impact. Investors recognize the risk to Mondelez’s brand posed by its throwaway packaging, and they want Mondelez to act to develop recyclable alternatives.

Read more about our engagements with Mondelez below.

Consumer Packaging 2017

STATUS: 27.5%

RESOLVED: Shareowners of Mondelēz International request the Board to issue a report at reasonable cost, omitting confidential information, assessing the environmental impacts of continuing to use non-recyclable brand packaging.

Filing Documents

Related 2017 Engagements

Consumer Packaging 2016

STATUS: 26.7%

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareowners of Mondelez International request the Board to issue a report at reasonable cost, omitting confidential information, by October 1, 2016 assessing the environmental impacts of continuing to use non-recyclable brand packaging.

Filing Documents

Related 2016 Engagements

Nanomaterials 2016

STATUS: Blocked by Company at SEC

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board publish, by October 2016, at reasonable cost and excluding proprietary information, a report on Mondelez’ use of nanomaterials, including describing the products or packaging that currently contain nanoparticles, why nanoparticles are being used, and actions management is taking to reduce or eliminate the risk nanoparticles may pose to human health and the environment, including eliminating the use of nanomaterials until or unless they are proven safe through long-term testing.

Filing Documents

Press

Related 2016 Engagements

Consumer Packaging 2015

STATUS: 27.9%

BE IT RESOLVED: Shareowners of Mondelez International request the Board to issue a report, at reasonable cost, omitting confidential information, by October 1, 2015, assessing the environmental impacts of continuing to use non-recyclable brand packaging.

Filing Documents

Related 2015 Engagements

Consumer Packaging 2014

STATUS: 28.4%

Shareowners of Mondelez International request the Board to issue a report at reasonable cost, omitting confidential information, by October 1, 2014 assessing the environmental impacts of continuing to use non-recyclable brand packaging.

Filing Documents

Press

Related 2014 Engagements

Consumer Packaging 2013

STATUS: 09.5%

Product packaging is a major source of waste and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and a significant consumer of natural resources and energy. More than half of U.S. product packaging is discarded in landfills or burned rather than recycled. Only 12% of plastic packaging is recycled.

Filing Documents

Related 2013 Engagements