Gallery: Sunny Delight Reaches Zero Waste Goal, But Is Still Bad for Yo...


Here at Inhabitat we love hearing about multi-national corporations undertaking incredible measures to become more Earth friendly, so with the recent announcement that all of Sunny Delight’s US and Spanish companies have gone certifiable zero waste to landfill, we’re inclined to give them a standing ovation for their eco-efforts. But unfortunately, there’s another equally dire aspect that requires us to sit back down – because while green in production, the beverage itself remains a sugary mess. Shaped in the minds of many as a timeless favorite, Sunny Delight is in reality one of many sugar-laden drinks causing obesity problems across the world. So while the company’s recycling initiatives are laudable, we still feel making a drink that keeps the world’s population healthy is even better.

In the company’s 2009 report released this month, Sunny D announced their great green news. Sunny D, which initially set a goal of making all of their US and Spanish plants zero waste by 2013, last year found themselves four years ahead of schedule. Their Anaheim, Mataro, Atlanta, Sherman, South Brunswick and Littleton plants have gone completely zero waste with no residuals being sent to the landfill, and each location avidly practices the best of recycling habits. With just one year under its belt, the new system managed to generate an overall savings of $169,000 in direct costs last year alone.

A considerable financial and environmental feat, to compliment their eco-practices, Sunny D has been striving to lower its drink’s sugar content. Unfortunately, all of their efforts have so far come up short. High Fructose Corn Syrup remains second most used ingredient as listed on the Sunny Delight Original label, and the glowing brew contains just 5% of concentrated juice — the recipe is basically sugar water with a little fruit for flavor. While attempted to up their image of wellbeing with a recently released line of juices that claim to be healthier, their key sweetener remains just as toxic.

So as a company laden with conflicting practices with little remedy, it’s hard to see this environmental venture as more than an act of self-interest. A truly disheartening reality, we just wish that Sunny D would ramp up their efforts and really start making a product that wasn’t so focused on cost optimization at the expense of the population’s health.

Via The Environmental News Network


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  1. PaTrond September 9, 2010 at 1:06 pm

    In Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden and Denmark) we have something called “pant”. It means and is a deposit you get back when you deliver back. 0.5L and 0.33L bottles are USD ~15 Cent, 1.5L are USD ~45 Cent.Plastic- and glass bottles are washed, aluminium boxes are melted and remade.

    It works perfectly, but some people just throw the bottles away when empty.

  2. cloneboy September 8, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    To reiterate what’s been said before: It’s not Sunny D’s fault kids are getting fat from their drinks.

    It is, however, rather dishonest that their ads seem to portray it as a healthy alternative to sodas and other sugary drinks.

    What’s wrong with them making their goal to reduce waste as an act of self-interest? Making people and companies aware that being health and eco-conscioius is in their best interest is a better strategy than trying to convince them that they should shoulder some kind of burden for “the greater good.”

  3. hador_nyc September 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    sugary drinks are not a problem. People who drink too many of them are. Self-control should not be given to the Government, whatever country you live in, and more importantly, your government is not responsible for your actions. If you are over weight, eat less, and exercise more. This is not rocket science. Treat sugary drinks for what they are, treats. If you are not active enough to burn those calories, stop eating them.

  4. bday988 September 8, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    Sugary drinks like SunnyD are not the sole cause of obesity. In fact, the risk they pose pales in comparison to the danger presented by the sedentary lifestyle that many Americans practice, young and old. The fact that exercise is seen as a nuisance rather than a necessity is a fundamental problem that needs to be addressed rather than blaming it on food and drink companies. The calories and sugars present in SunnyD make it the perfect drink for fueling the body before, during, and after physical activity. Only when consumption is followed by sitting on ones backside and watching TV does it become a problem.

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