High-quality and durable packaging plays a key role in preventing food waste. Good packaging protects the product and its taste throughout the production chain and ensures that the product remains fresh. Important perspectives in decreasing food waste include the size of the packaging and how easy it is to use and empty. Paulig Group invests strongly in packaging development and also takes into account the environmental effects of packaging. Did you know that Paulig was the first in the world to introduce renewable raw materials to vacuum coffee packages?

Paulig Group's packaging development has progressed in leaps and bounds in recent years. In particular, Paulig has focused on cutting the carbon footprint of packaging by increasing the share of renewable, plant-based materials in packaging. Even though packaging only covers a few per cent of a product’s environmental effects, Paulig has succeeded in decreasing the climate effects of packaging further with the development work.

What has Paulig achieved so far?

All Paulig coffee packages can be sorted as plastic. Renewable raw materials are nowadays utilised in more and more of Paulig coffee packages, and renewable, plant-based and fossil-based materials make up to 50 per cent of raw materials used in some of Paulig coffee packages. This has reduced the carbon footprint of the package by approximately one third. The goal is that, by the end of 2025, all Paulig coffee will be packed in packages made 100 per cent out of renewable materials. Watch the video and see the steps Paulig has taken in developing coffee packages in the past decades.

In early autumn 2019, Paulig Group made strides in Santa Maria tortilla and coconut milk packaging. Paulig Group introduced new Santa Maria tortilla packaging to the market in which some of the plastic has been replaced by paper. This makes the carbon footprint 35% smaller compared to regular packaging. As a result of the packaging reform, 150 tonnes less plastic is used for Santa Maria tortilla packaging compared to the previous packaging solution. The figure corresponds to six million half-litre plastic bottles. The paper lid of the new Santa Maria tortilla packaging can be sorted as cardboard and the bottom as plastic waste.

From now on, Santa Maria coconut milk can be found in cardboard packaging instead of tins. Transferring to cardboard packaging has cut the product’s greenhouse gas emissions by 796 tonnes, which corresponds to 81% of the packaging’s carbon footprint. The new product packaging is the perfect size for a home cook, which also contributes to decreasing food waste. In all, 72 per cent of the Santa Maria coconut milk cardboard package is plant-based materials, and it can be sorted as cardboard.

Recycled materials are used in the Pulled Oats product package as much as possible: the Pulled Oats boxes are made of recycled plastic bottles. The packages can be sorted as plastic waste. In addition, all Risenta product packages can be recycled – they are sorted as cardboard, paper or plastic, depending on the product. You will find more detailed recycling instructions in the product package.

What next?

Paulig's long-term development work will continue, and the goal is that by 2025 all Paulig packaging can be recycled or reused. In the development work, Paulig takes into account the diverse opportunities of circular economy, in particular. As an example of this, Paulig launched Finland’s first circular economy pilot for coffee packages together with Globe Hope and K Group in summer 2019. The pilot encourages consumers to return their empty coffee packages to K-Supermarkets involved in the pilot. From there, the coffee packages are delivered to Globe Hope to be used as material for new recycled products. The ready recycled products will be on sale in the participating K Supermarkets as well as the online stores of Paulig and Globe Hope in autumn 2019.

Even though Paulig's packaging development is coming along in leaps and bounds, the most important task of product packaging is always kept on mind: packaging must ensure the storage life of the product and its taste. This way, it also best prevents food waste.

Read more about the sustainability work at Paulig Group and learn more about food waste week (in Finnish) at https://havikkiviikko.fi. Don’t forget to participate in the discussion on social media using the hashtag #foodwaste.

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