Dagmar Glatz (dm-drogerie markt) and Florian Cebulla (Schwarz Gruppe) on a stage during a lecture

Neckarsulm, 20. September 2022

Appreciating the Value of Resources and Circular Thinking

At the beginning of September, Lebensmittelzeitung and packREPORT invited to the Packaging 360° Summit, the Packaging Congress of the FMCG industry – “Fast Moving Consumer Goods”. Over the course of two days, experts presented current challenges and innovations on the topic of packaging, discussing exciting approaches and scientific backgrounds to the solutions.

Representing the Schwarz Group, which with its corporate divisions spans a large part of the value chain, Florian Cebulla, project owner of circular systems in Corporate Responsibility, together with Dagmar Glatz from dm-drogerie markt spoke on the first evening of the summit about the packaging strategy in retail.  The packaging talk was dedicated to the current challenges and approaches to solutions in the field of packaging in retail, and more specifically in food retail.

As one of the world's leading companies in food retail, it is our premise to ensure the product quality of our food – not only for us, but also for our customers at home. Packaging is therefore necessary, especially with regards to avoiding and reducing food losses. Florian Cebulla highlighted how the topic of sustainability is inextricably linked to issues regarding the choice and design of packaging: “It is our goal to use the resources we employ as efficiently as possible and in a manner appreciative of their value.”

With our group-wide plastic strategy REset Plastic, we already set ourselves ambitious goals in 2018: Amongst other, we aim to use on average 25 percent recyclate in the Lidl and Kaufland own-brand packagings by 2025. Florian Cebulla also emphazised the challenge that too much of the packaging waste generated is currently not yet recycled at a high standard. In order to continue increasing the recycling rate and also further optimize its quality, the entire recycling loop should be considered, from the packaging manufacturer to the food retailer to the recycling companies. As a retail company, we have to work together with all parties involved, including government and science, on solutions for a functioning circular economy. In addition, we are also taking a look at other packaging materials and are continuously examining how we make use of recycled aluminium or fibre-based materials, such as the silphium plant, for alternative packaging materials.

The second day featured various speakers focusing on innovation, eco-design, digitalization and the circular economy. A broad spectrum of topics was covered, from innovative start-up ideas to the further development of machines for rigid packaging or the Sustainability Packaging Score (SUSY).

During the two days of the Packaging Congress, it became clear, that progress has already been made in the field of packaging, but also highlighted the challenges that still exist and how innovative solutions can be developed.

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