Sustainability day by day

In our daily processes and procedures, we have been endeavouring for years to reduce waste and to procure and use goods and operating materials in a resource-saving and sustainable manner. Where technically possible, we are constantly replacing consumables and packaging materials with environmentally friendly alternatives. Constant dialogue with suppliers, partners and customers on the subject of sustainability is part of our daily work and in line with our ecological responsibility. 

Our products means that we are very positive about sustainability
Preserving, fermenting, homemade products and baking in glass reduce packaging waste and lower global transport costs.
Jars and bottles are durable and reusable. If damaged, they can be simply and easily recycled.
The same applies to metal packaging, which has the highest recycling rate in Germany.
Commercially used plastic packaging is returned to the recycling cycle (keyword: Packaging Act). In addition, many of our suppliers already offer packaging made from reclaimed or recycled materials as well as "ocean plastic".

We supplement well-known "everyday items" such as 100% recyclable WECK preserving jars (with a recycled glass content of 40%) with stainless steel handles, for example, to turn them into sustainable cups and cocktail glasses, or by adding FSC-certified wooden lids to turn the jars into attractive storage containers for use at home or for "unpackaged shopping". This is also an active contribution to reducing disposable items and putting sustainable awareness into practice with concrete products.

Examples for already implemented internal optimisations

  • Reduction of paper consumption (digitalisation of processes, introduction of a document management system)
  • Reduction of disposable and deposit bottles through water dispensers in all departments
  • Waste reduction through second/third use of delivered packaging material, e.g. for load securing, as filling material etc.
  • Use of off-peak electricity to charge electric industrial trucks
  • Replacement of adhesive tape with FSC adhesive labels
  • Changeover from multilayer material to unmixed goods (e.g. wrapping foil)
  • General use of FSC-certified papers (consumables, article identification)
  • Separate disposal cycles/returns for sheet metal (8 tons), glass (9 tons), plastic, cardboard (80 tons) and foil (24 tons)
  • Ink cartridges etc. as exchange/returned goods (cyclical system)
  • Lighting with motion detectors
  • Conversion of the vehicles in the fleet successively to the EURO emission standard applicable to new acquisitions

Good recycling quota for metal packaging

In addition, the raw material (tinplate = tinned sheet steel) is sustainable and often recyclable. Most metal packaging can be recycled. A so-called secondary raw material  becomes something new made of metal again - without any loss of quality, i.e. without downcycling. Metal packaging has the highest recycling rates of all packaging materials. In Germany, 92% of packaging steel is recycled (Gesellschaft für Verpackungsmarktforschung mbH) and in Europe 85.5% (APEA Press release 8th June 2022).

Further information about metal packaging

Sustainable glass

Glass is the oldest packaging known to mankind and has constantly evolved in line with modern requirements. 
In terms of both economic and ecological aspects.

Conservation of resources during production

  • Use of predominantly natural raw materials in glass production (available in large natural deposits; largely biodegradable in Germany).
  • Increasing energy efficiency in glass production through economical melting technology, by reducing the weight of glass as packaging and by utilising used glass (60%).
  • Today's lightweight glass products consume less raw materials and energy in the manufacturing process while maintaining the same stability.

Recycling after use

  • Glass is 100% recyclable without downcycling (loss of material) and therefore has a closed material cycle.

Characteristics of glass as packaging

  • Glass is inert - there is no interaction between the material and the contents, the flavour of the food remains untouched.
  • Glass is ideal for preserving food and therefore helps to reduce food waste.

Facts about plastics

Today, almost 100% of household packaging is recycled in Germany. Of this, 56% is recycled and reprocessed as secondary raw materials. Just 20 years ago, the recycling rate was around 3%. According to the Federal Environment Agency (UBA), the recycling rate for plastic packaging waste was 46.2% in 2020. 

Material efficiency
Compared to 1991, plastic packaging is a good 25% lighter today. At the same time, its performance has increased. To replace plastic with other packaging materials, four times as much material would have to be used.

Product protection
Optimised plastic packaging reduces food waste in the retail sector. Plastic packaging also reduces losses during transport and storage in the non-food sector, thus saving valuable environmental resources.

Consumer protection
Plastic packaging protects its contents from spoilage and damage. It ensures quality, shelf life and hygiene. Conversely, UN hazardous goods packaging can protect the environment from toxic or highly flammable contents. Tamper-evident seals on plastic packaging serve to protect against theft and counterfeiting.

Microplastics / macroplastics
According to a study by the Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental Technology in Oberhausen, 446,000 tonnes of plastic emissions are produced every year. These consist of 26% macroplastics (larger plastic parts, such as plastic bags or other larger plastic waste) and 74% microplastics.

Causes/sources of microplastics

  • Abrasion from car tyres
  • Release during waste disposal
  • Abrasion of bitumen in asphalt (bitumen is a component of asphalt that is obtained from crude oil)
  • Pellet losses
  • Blowing from sports fields and playgrounds
  • Release on construction sites
  • Abrasion from shoe soles
  • Abrasion from plastic packaging
  • Abrasion of road markings
  • Fibre abrasion during textile washing

The complete study is available here: Source: Fraunhofer Institute for Environmental Technology in Oberhausen