Sustainability in Consumer Products

3M thinks, works, and acts in ways to help the world be more sustainable, and the Consumer Business team is no different. We are committed to using 3M science to improve lives by building sustainability into our manufacturing operations, products, and packaging. We are proud that our Cynthiana, Kentucky plant, maker of Post-it® Notes and Scotch® Packaging Tapes, has maintained zero waste to landfill status since Q4 2016, and that our Hutchinson, Minnesota plant, which makes Scotch® Magic™ Tape, Scotch® Painter’s Tape, and Filtrete™ Air Filters achieved zero landfill status in 2020. In addition to waste reduction efforts, several of our facilities have made notable reductions in water or energy use.

More importantly, our commitment to Sustainability does not end with our manufacturing operations. The 3M Consumer Business team is also working to make our packaging more sustainable. This entails everything from reducing the amount of packaging, using packaging materials that can easily be recycled, and using packaging materials made from recycled content.

We are also building Sustainability Value Commitments into the products we sell to consumers, demonstrating how that product drives impact for the greater good. Examples of Sustainability Value Commitments for new products include reusability, recyclability, energy/waste/water savings, responsible sourcing, and/or recycled or renewable raw materials. This commitment also includes products with a core purpose of helping to solve an environmental or social challenge, such as improving air quality or improving worker safety.

Sustainability. One more way 3M stands apart.

  • 3M Consumer Business Sustainability Video

    3M has delivered significant reductions in waste, water, energy, and GHG emissions in our own operations, and we are partnering with our suppliers to ensure our values transcend into our supply chain. In the Consumer Business, 3M is working to make our products, manufacturing operations, and packaging more sustainable. Learn more about 3M Consumer Business Sustainability efforts by watching these short videos.

Sustainability Stories: Office Products

  • A sustainable alternative that’s proven to protect.

    Scotch™ Cushion Lock™ Protective Wrap is a sustainable alternative to plastic bubble. It’s an expanding paper wrap made from 100% recycled paper and can be easily recycled after use. Proven to protect, you won’t have to compromise on protection if you want to ship sustainably.

  • Extreme grip on recycled boxes.

    Scotch® Box Lock™ Packaging Tape is made to stick securely to ALL box types, including 100% recycled cardboard boxes, and it is manufactured with a solvent-free adhesive in a zero-waste-to-landfill facility.

  • Add some color to your world.

    Post-it® Brand is committed to developing fresh, bright color palettes that reflect today’s tastes, while also keeping an eye on sustainability.

  • Works like magic, only greener.

    Made from over 65% recycled or plant-based material, Scotch® Magic™ Greener Tape is a more environmentally friendly version of our original classic.


Sustainability Stories: Office Products

Sustainability Stories: Home Improvement Products

  • Filtrete™ Brand gets smarter about efficiency.

    Filtrete™ Smart Air Purifiers can automatically adjust the fan speed based on air quality, so your device only runs at higher fan speeds when needed, saving energy.

    Consumer,Product,Home Improvement
  • Breathe Easy. Elevate Your Air.

    3M’s Particulate Respirator 9513 uses filter media that filters at least 95% of airborne particles.

    Product,Consumer,Home Improvement
  • Preparing is preventing.

    Solvent free coatings used in ScotchBlue™ Original Painter’s Tape #2090 help reduce factory emissions.

  • Furnace filtration with less waste.

    Filtrete™ Basic and Clean Living Air Filters are going metal free, which translates to less pounds of waste to the landfill.

    Consumer, Product,Home Improvement

Sustainability Stories: Home Improvement Products

Sustainability Stories: Home Care & Consumer Health Products

  • Greener Clean just got greener.

    Superior performance meets sustainability for a more satisfying, gratifying, greener clean without compromise. Made from plant-based cellulose fibers, Scotch-Brite® Greener Clean Sponges are a great alternative to paper towels.

    Consumer,Products,Home Care
  • A durable scrub that outlasts eraser pads.

    Scotch-Brite® Swift Scrub Bathroom Buildup Remover powers through build-up 3X faster than an eraser pad*. And it works with just water or vinegar — no harsh chemicals needed.

    Consumer,Product,Home Care
  • Care for your wound and care for the world.

    Tough on. Gentle off. Nexcare™ Duo Fabric Bandages are manufactured with pain-free removal and all-day hold using a solvent-less adhesive.

    Consumer,Product,Consumer Health Care
  • Reinventing warmth with recycled plastic.

    3M scientists develop innovative ways to make the 3M™ Thinsulate™ insulation warmer, more versatile and more sustainable than existing 3M™ Thinsulate™ products.

Sustainability Stories: Home Care & Consumer Health Products

Packaging & Manufacturing Sustainability Stories

  • Recycle me.

    The 3M Consumer Business Group is working to make its packaging recyclable. The first step is eliminating polyvinyl chloride (PVC) from our packages.**

    Consumer,Manufacturing,Home Care
  • Tonawanda water conservation.

    3M Tonawanda, the world’s largest sponge-making location, reduced their water usage by 25% with an innovative change to their manufacturing process.

    Consumer,Manufacturing,Home Care
  • 3M Hutchinson achieves zero landfill

    The 3M Hutchinson, Minnesota plant achieved zero landfill status in 2020 after working to find outlets for numerous waste streams.

  • Wrapped Up in Frustration-Free Packaging.

    The next generation in WorkTunes™ hearing protection and entertainment is here, but its enhanced comfort isn’t the only exciting part. The 3M™ WorkTunes™ Connect + Gel Cushions Hearing Protector combines Bluetooth® wireless technology with packaging that’s easy to open and curbside recyclable.

    Consumer,Product,Home Improvement

Packaging & Manufacturing Sustainability Stories

Social Sustainability Stories

  • The strength of a meaningful partnership.

    3M’s Consumer Business Group is working to address the homeownership gap by partnering with organizations that increase ownership access for underrepresented groups and through meaningful product donations that can help make a house a home.

    Consumer,Social,Home Improvement
  • Recycling Inclusion Fund.

    3M contributed an investment of $100,000 to launch The Recycling Partnership’s Recycling Inclusion Fund.

  • Helping stop ocean plastic.

    3M, in partnership with GlobalGiving, has become a Plastic Bank Ocean Steward to help stop ocean plastic and support communities in vulnerable coastal regions.

  • Full court press with Scotch® Painter’s Tape.

    Scotch® Painter’s Tape teamed up with Project Backboard, NBA star Taj Gibson, and artist Steph Costello to transform a basketball court and inspire a community.

    Consumer,Social,Home Improvement

Social Sustainability Stories

  • How2Recycle® logo
    • 3M became a member of the How2Recycle program in June, 2018. This program was designed by GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition to provide consumers with clear instructions for recycling packaging materials.
    • Today, over 225 brands and retailers have joined the effort to educate consumers on packaging recyclability by providing clear on-package instructions. This membership supports 3M’s efforts to improve the Sustainability of our products and packaging.
    • Within the 3M Consumer Business, we continue to expand the use of How2Recycle labels onto more packages every year.