Malt-O-Meal is launching a campaign called "Bag the Box" to promote its packaging in a bag instead of the traditional cereal box.
The Minneapolis-based company has launched a Web site (http://bagthebox.com/) and blog where users can view fan-created videos and exchange ideas on sustainable packaging and green initiatives. Included on the site is a "Think Green" video that showcases why bags are a smarter packaging solution.
While Malt-O-Meal's traditional hot breakfast cereal and its Mom's Best line continue to be sold in boxes, the company sells 22 varieties of cold breakfast cereal which are packaged in bags. They include Cinnamon Toasters, Frosted Mini Spooners and Blueberry Muffintops. Malt-O-Meal also has four other families of products including Bear River Valley, Three Sisters, Isabel's Way and Sally's.
According to the site, it takes 345 million pounds of paperboard to make a year's supply of cereal boxes, which is the weight of 734,747 jumbo jets. Each year the United States produces 2.3 billion cereal boxes -- enough paperboard to build not one, but almost three great pyramids.
The manufacturing plants that make boxes generate as much particle air emissions as 31,000 city buses. By not manufacturing cereal boxes, Malt-O-Meal has saved 1.1 trillion BTUs of energy since 2001 -- enough to light ten 100-watt bulbs for 36,000 years. By packaging Malt-O-Meal cereals in resealable bags and eliminating the box, Malt-O -Meal has reduced the amount of packaging that consumers have to dispose of by 75% (as compared to cereals packaged in a box).
The company is also conducting a consumer contest directed at classrooms with TerraCycle, which since 2009 has turned empty Malt-O-Meal bags into new products. The contest asked classrooms to show how they are helping the earth for a chance to win $2,500 for their school. The entry portion of the contest is now closed, but consumers can vote on the ideas through May 15 on Malt-O-Meal's Facebook page.
TerraCycle and Malt-O-Meal also have an ongoing program called the Cereal Bag Brigade. Consumers can send in empty cereal bags. TerraCycle will convert the bags into innovative products, including tote bags and park benches. For each cereal bag shipment sent to TerraCycle, consumers awarded TerraCycle points, which can be redeemed for a payment of $0.02 per bag for their school.
Malt-O-Meal Consumer Marketing Manager Linda Fisher says consumers already purchase a variety of everyday products that are packaged in bags -- so why not cereal? "Our 'Bag The Box' movement is all about encouraging consumers to not settle for over-packaged cereal, and to start making simple changes that are better for the earth," she says.