Less waste, less plastic at Dr. Oetker

"All our packaging should be recyclable by 2025. Whenever it makes sense and is possible, we also avoid using plastic altogether," Dr. Oetker
Less waste, less plastic at Dr. Oetker
Photo - Dr Oetker

A world without waste - would not only be good for the air and the oceans. It would also save resources and thus protect the climate. After all, packaging materials consist of valuable resources such as wood and petroleum; the production process requires a lot of energy. That's why Dr. Oetker, take care to reduce their packaging to the bare minimum. Dr. Oetker Sustainability Charter also states that all its packaging should be recyclable by 2025. Whenever it makes sense and is possible, also avoid using plastic altogether.

As little material as necessary, as easy to recycle as possible

"We depend on the protective function of our packaging: Only if they are properly packaged, we can guarantee freshness and hygienic safety to our consumers," explains Farina Voss, executive manager - International Packaging Development, Dr. Oetker. "However, to avoid negative ecological consequences, packaging must be reduced to the bare minimum, reused or recycled." Since recycling systems vary widely around the world, Dr. Oetker has developed clear guidelines, based on international public specifications and recycling options worldwide, on how to develop sustainable packaging worldwide from particularly little, particularly recyclable material. These guidelines define Dr. Oetker Packaging Handbook, which is binding for all national companies.

Recyclable – what does that mean?

Whether it's pizza boxes, dessert cups, or bakery bags, from lids to labels - in the future, it must be possible to recycle all of the packagings in a way that becomes new packaging, a packaging component, or a secondary raw material for other products. Exclude energy recovery, i.e. use as secondary fuel.

Focusing on low-material, recyclable packaging

Paper wins: Even today, most product packaging, is based on paper that can be completely recycled after use. With The Good Baker feel-good pizza, in some countries, they are already offering a pizza range which’s cardboard for the folding boxes is made of recycled material entirely. Proof of this is provided by the FSC Recycled label with which the packaging is marked. All other folding cartons already consist of 70 to 80 percent recycled material. They also rely primarily on paper-based material for transport packaging.

Plastic? As recyclable as possible: In addition to product safety and the lowest possible use of materials, recyclability is our top priority when using plastics. The cups are made primarily of the best recyclable, transparent plastic, as are the films for our pizzas. In addition, they are working on making packaging as light and thin-walled as possible - while maintaining product protection and transportability.

Initiatives for sorting and recycling - HolyGrail 2.0 and 4evergreen: As a member of the cross-industry, European Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0, support digital watermarks on plastic packaging. This technology helps sorting facilities detect the type and material that post-consumer packaging is made of and assign them precisely to individual material streams accordingly. The goal: Achieving higher recycling rates and higher-quality recycling. Promoting the sustainability of fiber-based packaging materials is the goal of 4evergreen, a cross-sector, European alliance of companies that includes Dr. Oetker. They are committed to achieving a recycling rate of 90% for fiber-based packaging by 2030.

Packaging optimized by packaging

Working on using as little material as possible. By 2025, the packaging should become recyclable. Some current examples:

Lid off for fresh desserts

Since 2022, they have removed the slip lid from Löffelglück Range, i.e. cream pudding, semolina pudding, fruit grits, and High Protein Pudding. The LoVE it! fresh products do not have a disposable lid too.

Katharina Lütgert

Less plastic for dessert packaging

Reduced the amount of plastic used in packaging for both powdered desserts and many fresh desserts in the refrigerated section. The outer layer of powder dessert packaging, such as that of Dr. Oetker Paradies Creme, is now produced with less plastic. Puddings such as the Wölkchen dessert also have thinner-walled cups and are still sufficiently stable to reach consumers intact.

I’m now recyclable!

The popular four-compartment cups of decor products are no longer made of polystyrene, i.e. PS, but of polypropylene, i.e. PP, in the UK since 2021. They can therefore be recycled, now. At the same time, they have significantly reduced the weight of the packaging. Soon those cups will also be available in many other countries.

Everyone can make a contribution

In principle, consumers can help recycle by disposing of materials separately after use: For example, the sorting plants sort fresh dessert packaging more reliably if the aluminum lid is completely separated from the cup before disposal in the household. Both can then be placed together in the yellow bag/bin. The cardboard sleeves, on the other hand, belong separately from the cup in the waste paper. To help consumers recycle packaging, even more, will be introducing a new label system on our product packaging. This will enable our consumers to see at a glance what material the packaging is made of and how it can be recycled - about the respective market. Also, make this information available on product websites.

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