Clean world

Reducing plastic & other waste

Reducing plastic & other waste

When we formulate, manufacture and package our products, we strive to minimize waste wherever we can. Ultimately, our goal is to deliver high-quality products that help people be well and thrive while minimizing the impact on our planet. When it comes to the materials that go into our products and packaging, we believe less is more. We seek ways to reduce the overall volume of materials, increase the sustainability of our materials and minimize the impact left behind after our consumers use our products. Doing so helps reduce the footprint and resource intensity of our products.

Our packaging goals

Our packaging goals

As part of our IGNITE strategy, we prioritized packaging as a key focus area with the following goals: 

  • 50% combined reduction in virgin plastic and fiber packaging by 2030.
  • 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025.
  • Double post-consumer recycled, or PCR, plastic in packaging by 2030 (+50% by 2025).

Since launching our IGNITE strategy in October 2019, we:

  • Reduced our combined virgin plastic and fiber packaging by 9% per case of product sold versus a 2018 baseline (19% progress versus our 50% goal by 2030).
  • Achieved 88% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging versus a 2018 baseline of 74%.
  • Used 10% PCR plastic in our packaging in 2022, down from our 2018 baseline of 11%.

Additionally, we plan to continue supporting ongoing packaging commitments established in our previous goal period, which ended in 2018. These include driving the elimination of polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, packaging from our product portfolio and continuing to require all fiber-based packaging we purchase to be made from recycled or certified sustainable virgin material. In 2022, 99% of paper-based packaging we purchased was made from recycled or certified sustainable virgin fiber.  

To help take the guesswork out of recycling for our consumers, we continue to feature easy-to-follow recycling instructions on our U.S. retail product packaging. Approximately 90% of our U.S. retail product packaging utilizes the How2Recycle label. 

Virgin packaging material reduction

GOAL: 50% combined reduction in virgin plastic and fiber packaging by 2030
STATUS: 9% combined virgin plastic and fiber packaging reduction (19% of our goal), per case of product sold versus 2018 baseline, as of 2022* 

Our signature IGNITE environmental, social and governance goal calls for us to reduce by 50% the virgin plastic and fiber in our packaging by 2030, measured on a per-case-of-product-sold basis versus a 2018 baseline. In 2020, we rolled out Clorox concentrated liquid bleach, which reduced our use of plastic and fiber packaging for this brand while delivering the same high-quality product that our consumers expect. We also converted to 100% recycled fiber cartons for Glad products in 2019. 

*Metric is global and includes both primary and secondary fiber and plastic packaging. Domestic U.S. export and Latin America packaging is based on sales data and includes packaging for all products we sell and produce in the U.S. and Latin America, inclusive of contract manufactured packaging from suppliers that procure packaging materials on our behalf. Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Asia packaging is based on our purchases of packaging for operations in these regions and excludes some data for packaging procured by contract manufacturers on our behalf. Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Asia CY22 data is estimated based on CY18 purchases of packaging, adjusted to account for sales growth in CY22. 

Use of recyclable, reusable, compostable primary packaging

GOAL: 100% recyclable, reusable and/or compostable packaging by 2025
STATUS: 88% of packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable, as of 2022**

Since launching our recyclable, reusable and compostable goal, we’ve defined key focus areas and a partnership strategy to help address the challenges associated with achieving this goal. In 2019, Clorox became a signatory to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment and in 2020, a founding member of U.S. Plastics Pact.  

Our partnership strategy includes engaging in collective, multistakeholder approaches across the plastics supply chain to find solutions to different aspects of the plastic waste challenge, such as improving access to recycling infrastructure and increasing use of PCR plastic. For example, to contribute toward its 2025 goal to become net-zero plastic to nature, our Burt’s Bees business is investing in social enterprises in India and Ghana to incentivize collection of recyclables and support local entrepreneurs through a partnership with rePurpose Global. Burt’s Bees is also funding infrastructure improvements in U.S. municipal recycling systems through The Recycling Partnership.  

To achieve our goal, were also identifying ways to redesign existing products, create more circular products and explore business models for reusability: 

Redesigning existing products 

  • Beginning in 2021, we’ve been adding perforations on the shrink labels of many of our products, including all Clorox spray bottles, Clorox Toilet Bowl Cleaners and Liquid-Plumr bottles. This enables consumers to easily remove nonrecyclable labels that inhibit recyclability of packaging, including bottles, closures and triggers. These small changes have the potential to unlock the recyclability of approximately 21 million pounds of plastic every year.   

Creating new, more circular products 

  • We launched a concentrated Clorox cleaning spray refill pilot with a major retailer.  
  • We introduced refillable products including Clorox Bathroom Ultra Foamer Refillable Cleaner and Clorox Multi-purpose Refillable Cleaner, which use concentrated pods that can be refilled up to 30 times, using 80% less plastic, and which are recyclable compared to small-format alternatives.  
  • The Burt’s Bees brand partnered with Above & Beyond, a UK-based brand, to offer an exclusive, refillable version of its Beeswax Lip Balm. The innovative refillable lip balm case is microplastic-free, made from upcycled wood and designed to be reused 
  • The Burt’s Bees brand launched its Clear & Balanced line with packaging that can be recycled with TerraCycle; some of the packaging is also recyclable curbside.  
  • Clorox’s Bathroom Ultra Foamer, made with a reusable trigger and in a refill model, was introduced for mass market. 

Exploring business models for reusability 

  • Various products in our portfolio have participated in TerraCycle’s Loop pilot program since 2019. Through the program, weve tested consumer appetites for circular models with primary packaging that can be refilled and reused through e-commerce and retail settings. Today, our Burt’s Bees brand continues to participate in the program through a limited in-store test with its Gentle Facial Cleanser in a refillable glass bottle with pump. Our Burt’s Bees and Brita brands also work with TerraCycle’s recycling program. The free Burt’s Bees TerraCycle® recycling program has collected over 192,000 units of packaging to date.  
  • We conducted a market test with Algramo to sell several products, including Clorox Splash-less Bleach and Pine-Sol Multi-Surface Cleaner, at three refill stations in New York City.  
**Data has been calculated using the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s recyclability assessment tool and Recycling Rate Survey, and the Association of Plastic Recyclers Design Guide for Plastics Recyclability. Recyclability reporting is based on CY22 U.S. and Latin America sales data and is estimated to reflect global results for this metric. 

Use of recycled plastic

GOAL: Double post-consumer recycled, or PCR, plastic in packaging by 2030 (+50% by 2025)
STATUS: 10% of plastic used in packaging is PCR, down from 11% baseline in 2018, as of 2022*** 

The rise of companies making plastic commitments and resulting demand for PCR plastic is straining the PCR supply chain. In response, we’re engaging in multistakeholder partnerships to increase the availability and improve the quality of recycled plastic material required to produce recyclable packaging. Were also working to address systemic challenges in the U.S. recycling infrastructure through our participation in the U.S. Plastics Pact and other initiatives. The solutions we seek would do more than help us meet our IGNITE goal; they can also help the industry achieve a more sustainable, circular system for packaging. 

***Metric is global and includes both primary and secondary plastic packaging. Domestic U.S. export and Latin America packaging is based on sales data and includes packaging for all products we sell and produce in the U.S. and Latin America, inclusive of contract manufactured packaging from suppliers that procure packaging materials on our behalf. Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Africa and Asia packaging is based on our purchases of packaging for operations in these regions and excludes some data for packaging procured by contract manufacturers on our behalf. AsiaPacific, Middle East, Africa and Asia CY22 data is estimated based on CY18 purchases of packaging, adjusted to account for sales growth in CY22. 

Clorox’s role in driving a circular economy 

Packaging is an essential component in all consumer products, supporting both safe use (e.g., unbreakable plastic bottles, childresistant caps, on-pack directions and precautions) and convenience (e.g., resealable containers, pour spouts). Clorox, along with most CPG companies, recognizes the challenges that local governments face with managing packaging waste and believes that we all need to help find solutions to those challenges.    

To this end, Clorox supports programs that advance efficient and effective solid waste management. This includes the diversion of waste from landfills through the collection of packaging materials that can be efficiently recycled and reused.    

A proactive initiative across our industry will help advance a circular economy vision where packaging is no longer waste after its use but is instead a valuable resource. Additionally, our IGNITE ESG goals for packaging are consistent with extended producer responsibility program goals, and were engaged with governments, industry and consumers to advance a “closed loop” circular economy for packagingWe assembled a cross-functional team to understand implications for our various product and packaging types and the potential impacts to our businesses. And we recently joined the Circular Action Alliance, a national producer responsibility organization established to provide the industry scale needed for compliance and drive obligations around recycling commitments and end-market development for collected materials.  

Our zero-waste-to-landfill goal

Our zero-waste-to-landfill goal

Goal: Achieve zero waste to landfill in 100% of our global facilities by 2030, and our plants by 2025 (where infrastructure allows)*

We now have 33 sites globally that have achieved zero-waste-to-landfill status, 28 of which are plants. In fiscal year 2023, we added two new sites: the Burt’s Bees plant in Morrisville, North Carolina, and our cleaning plant in San Juan, Argentina. Our zero-waste-to-landfill sites currently represent 80% of our plants and 52% of our facilities globally where we control waste. This builds on progress we made between calendar years 2007 and 2018 to reduce solid waste to landfill by 40% per case of product sold and by 25% on an absolute basis. Since closing out our 2020 goal period in 2018, we also continue to report our annual landfill waste footprint, along with progress against our zero-waste-to-landfill goal. 

Progress we’ve made in enterprise solid waste disposal, excluding hazardous waste, can be seen below. Solid hazardous waste is tracked and monitored at the facility level. Our solid and hazardous waste disposal practices are consistent with applicable regulatory requirements. 

* Clorox’s criteria for zero-waste-to-landfill includes: 1. Have a zero-waste approach to minimizing all waste streams. 2. Have processes to reduce, reuse, recycle, compost, or send to energy recovery. 3. Pass a corporate audit, following Clorox guidelines for our zero-waste-to-landfill program, which was informed by UL Standard 2799, 3rd Edition (03/22/17). Metric calculated as a percent to reflect both changes to the number of company-approved zero-waste-to-landfill facilities and changes to the total number of facilities we operate due to acquisitions, divestitures and changing facility needs and vendor capabilities to support our business. Locations where landfill waste diversion infrastructure limits the ability to achieve zero waste to landfill are excluded from this metric unless the residual waste impeded by infrastructure limitations constitutes 5% or less of a site’s total waste. If 5% or less and the location meets all remaining zero-waste-to-landfill criteria, it is included in this metric and counted as a zero-waste-to-landfill location. In cases where inadvertent waste sent to landfill is less than 2% of a site’s total waste, but it meets all remaining zero-waste-to-landfill criteria, it is counted as a zero-waste-to-landfill location. The baseline year for reporting against this target is FY20. 



We’ve been working to reduce waste for over a decade. Our Fairfield, California, plant partnered with a third-party vendor in 2011 to implement a recycling program that identified additional recyclable materials and placed recycling containers within easy access of employees. As of 2019, the plant recycled nearly 2,000 tons of materials and composts virtually all teammate food waste. It reduced landfill waste by more than 70% and diverted more than 98% of its waste stream from landfill.

Our Rogers, Arkansas, plant has increased recycling effectiveness through improved signage and minimizing the amount of recyclable material sent to a waste-to-energy facility. The plant’s leadership team also mobilized teammates to improve recycling rates by establishing an environmental leadership team. They purchased and labeled standardized recycling containers that used space more efficiently and placed them in locations where waste was generated. Individual departments were held responsible for improving teammates’ recycling habits. The team stepped up recycling training and education on the importance of achieving ZWtL status. They also increased efforts to reduce the volume of scrap generated by the plant. In addition to an existing program to regrind plastic scrap and reuse it on-site, these initiatives helped the plant to divert over 98% of the waste it generates, as of 2019.

Our Tlalnepantla, Mexico, plant and Tultitlan, Mexico, distribution center decided to work together on their ZWtL journeys. The facilities developed unique labels using pictograms for their recycling containers. In addition to traditional recycling, where waste is incorporated as a raw material in the manufacturing of new products, both Mexico sites are also sending waste to co-processing facilities. There, waste is used as combustible material to fire cement kilns. The resultant ash is used to help make cement. Co-processing combines the best of the recycling and waste-to-energy methods as no residual material ends up in landfills. The energy value of the combustible material aids one process, and the ash becomes another product altogether.

Our Glad brand has been on a mission toward greater sustainability. Reducing the amount of resin in our bags is just one way the business is driving waste out of its supply chain. Plants in the U.S., Canada and China took on the challenge of meeting Clorox’s ZWtL criteria by minimizing waste, driving sustainable behaviors through increased training, and implementing alternative solutions to landfill. Over several years of dedicated effort, facilities in rural areas found recycling partners nearby. Space-constrained offices carved out designated rooms and areas to collect recyclables. Facilities of all types collaborated with vendors to understand what could be recycled or composted based on local recycling vendors’ capabilities and made purchasing decisions accordingly. In 2019, Clorox was able to announce that all of our Glad facilities worldwide had achieved ZWtL status, from the R&D lab where Glad magic is created to the plants where we take R&D’s visions and turn them into quality products.

Dumpster Dives

Over the past several years, our teammates have conducted numerous “dumpster dives” — digging and sorting through trash — and have reduced our solid waste by more than half at these facilities. We found that this hands-on experience not only helps identify opportunities for improvement, but also strengthens employee engagement and commitment to reducing waste.

Reuse of Brick at Kingsford Summer Shade

Drying ovens and combustion chambers used at our charcoal plants are lined with specialized brick that needs to be replaced every 15 to 20 years, so a team at our Kingsford Summer Shade facility in Kentucky looked into the state’s Department of Environmental Protection beneficial reuse program to identify an alternative to landfill disposal for some of the plant’s brick debris.

First, teammates identified a legitimate use for the brick — as a base for a gravel access road in the back of the property. The existing dirt road created dust during the dry summer, and storm runoff was muddy during wet winter months. A gravel road solved an environmental issue while reusing the old brick. Then the plant had to demonstrate that paving the road wouldn’t harm human health or the environment. Within two months, it had approval to proceed with the road. The project itself took just a few days to complete. 

Concrete and Asphalt Reuse at Kingsford Parsons

The Kingsford plant in Parsons, West Virginia, was looking for alternatives to landfill disposal for concrete debris that was generated after sections of its roads had to be replaced as a result of rough winters and heavy plant traffic.

In 2017, a local official asked the plant if it had any debris for use on a state highway transportation project called Corridor H. As it happened, the Parsons plant had several loads of concrete stored on site, ready for just this type of project.

While West Virginia doesn’t have a formal beneficial reuse program, it does allow reuse of clean, inert concrete and brick for fill or road base. After this first successful reuse of plant debris, we’re looking to identify other similar kinds of debris that could be used for the Corridor H project or others like it.

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