A kitten found by a rescue group called Itty Bitty Kitty City was saved after it became caught in the handle of the packaging for a baby bottle product.
A rescue worker became emotional talking about finding the kitten. She said the packaging had been stuck on its neck for so long that it had grown "into" the skin.
A member of the rescue organization named Laura wrote to the company just to inform them of what had happened.
The company called Munchkin, which produces the "Any Angle" baby bottle, which was once in the discarded packaging, took in the feedback and generously offered to pay for the kitten's medical care, and also donated $2,500 to the organization.
The kitten, now named "Munchkin," has inspired an entire sustainability effort that is expected to possibly reduce plastic use by around 643,630 pounds a year, it was estimated.
But how did that estimate come about?
Diana Barnes, Chief Brand Officer and Creative Director at Munchkin, said, “It was soul-crushing to read Laura’s note and look at the photos of that sweet kitten, both personally because I’m a passionate advocate for animals and a pet parent myself of two cats, and professionally.”
The "Any Angle" cups are a very strong product for the Munchkin. Barnes said the company had just completed a new branding project for their products for all 500 varieties of their packaging.
While they were in the process of reconfiguring their packaging, Barnes decided it was a good time to be inspired by the rescue of the kitten and go back to work to make their packaging even better and safer for animals and the environment.
A year later, the company had developed animal-safe packaging for just under 500 of their Munchkin cups using a plastic-free design with 60-70% recycled content in parts of the packaging. The estimate for plastic reduction came from the massive changes in the packaging and projected sales of their products.
If an animal becomes trapped in the new packaging, the company promises that it will easily break apart for them to become free. They also decided to stop producing the small paper manual for the product and include a QR code so that customers can just scan it and find it online.
Volunteers with Itty Bitty Kitty City in Missouri said they were "overwhelmed" to see a corporation make such a vast improvement to help animals.