It is important to our Company to reduce our waste and to increase our ability to reduce, compost, recycle and reuse materials.
Our processing plant recycled 59% of the waste it generated in 2015. This included corrugated cardboard, wood pallets, plastics from our gallon milk jugs and barrels, and plastic wrap. Our longer term goal is to increase our plant recycling rate to be 75%, and we remain committed to that goal.
68% of our milk is packaged in half gallon cartons made from Forest Stewardship Council Controlled Wood certified paperboard, and has a polyethylene coating. In 2015, more than 55% of U.S. households have access to milk carton recycling.
Visit www.recyclecartons.com for more information.
The remaining 32% of our milk is bottled in polyethylene (HDPE) gallon jugs that can be recycled where No. 2 plastics are accepted. In 2015 approximately 95% of the U.S. had access to No. 2 recycling centers. Our secondary packaging is corrugated cardboard, the majority of which is recycled by the retail locations that sell our milk.
Our farms produce waste streams from veterinary supplies, feed bags, plastic wrap, bedding twine, filter socks, nitrile gloves and other materials. Our larger dairies have reduced their need for disposable dairy wipes by switching to reusable, washable microfiber wipes, which diverted approximately 70 tons of waste from landfills annually.
Because they are in rural locations, most of our farms do not have municipal recycling programs available. As a result, we have not been to recycle materials at our farms, and have not made progress toward our 2017 goal to divert 25% of our farm landfill waste. We continue to explore possible recycling solutions and ways to reduce the amount of waste generated by our farms, and remain committed to this goal.