Sustainability is a founding principle and core value of Straus Family Creamery. Organic farming practices are the basis of our sustainability efforts. Straus Family Creamery, a mission-driven company, has been a leader in sustainable organic farming and sustainable business for 25 years. From the beginning, we have sold our organic milk in reusable glass bottles to reduce waste and pollution. Today, the glass bottles keep an estimated 500,000 pounds of milk containers and plastic out of landfills each year.
At our Petaluma warehouse, we divert 95% of our waste stream from landfills, resulting in more than 153,000 pounds of diversion. We achieve this high rate of diversion by separating “hard-to-recycle” materials, including shrink wrap and plastic milk bottle caps. In 2018, our operations team manually collected more than 18,000 pounds of milk caps to be recycled. In addition to recycling the materials we generate within our facility walls, we have also implemented waste reduction strategies across our supply chain. These include:
- Implementing reusable pallet wraps to replace single-use shrink wrap. Straus Family Creamery uses 75 reusable pallet wraps to transport products between facilities and in local distribution. These pallet wraps avoid about 15,000 pounds of waste annually.
- Shipping products to market in durable milk crates. Straus Family Creamery charges distributors a deposit on all crates to incentivize their return – the return rate was 99% in 2018!
- Working with suppliers to reduce waste from inbound packaging. In 2018, we partnered with one of our vendors to implement reusable shipping containers to replace disposable cardboard boxes. Going forward, we hope to engage more of our suppliers in developing upstream solutions to eliminate waste at the source.
In addition to waste management in the warehouse, Straus Family Creamery has also adopted zero waste practices throughout the office. In the breakroom, employees use reusable dish towels and enjoy bulk snacks without unnecessary packaging. Waste receptacles throughout the building are clearly labeled and the Sustainability Team leads frequent zero waste trainings to empower employees to properly sort recyclables and compost waste.