Reduce, reuse, recycle: this is the guiding principle that has led the packaging industry and retail sector to innovate and create more and more packaging solutions and systems over the past few years. These make packaging increasingly sustainable and enable new products to be made from it.
The overarching goal: A closed loop economy that is intended to reduce CO2 emissions throughout the entire value-added chain in response to regulatory measures such as higher recycling quotas and consumer demand for more sustainable consumption. These efforts are focused on obtaining more reuses of packaging, decreasing the material used and lowering weight for an optimised ecological balance and improved recycling options, along with higher proportions of recycled material in packaging and secondary products.
LIDL PRODUCTS FROM THE RECYCLING BIN
Food discounter LIDL has been drawing public attention to the value of packaging since the end of February 2021. Within the scope of its sustainability strategy “Reset Plastic", LIDL is offering its customers own-brand household goods that are made from packaging from German households and which are made of recycled plastic (at least 95% of each product is made from this material). All of the collected packaging is cleaned and processed into plastic granules for manufacturing. The products comprise buckets, coathangers and storage boxes.
Packaging can only be recycled sustainably if consumers separate their rubbish at home first. Photo: Lisa Fotios von PexelsDL
SPINNING GOLD FROM OLD TRASH
A lucrative business, built from waste, is behind this environmental initiative. The Schwarz Group, which owns LIDL and Kaufland, and its subsidiary PreZero, took over the Tönsmeier waste disposal firm in 2018 and thus became the fifth biggest disposal company in the German waste industry. At the end of 2020, they acquired the waste and recycling divisions of SUEZ in four European countries (the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Germany and Poland).
Dietmar Böhm, Managing Director of PreZero, sets out the group's ambitions for growth in relation to the industry in a statement to the press: “The waste disposal and recycling branch is facing the dawn of a new era. The European Green Deal and an EU plastic tax open up huge potential to drive implementation of recycled material forward in order to protect our environment and the climate. To this end, we will create valuable synergies together with SUEZ in the future.” According to reports in the press, the Schwarz subsidiary has set its sights on increasing its turnover of €500 million in 2019 by at least 50%, to €750 million, by 2024.