Food discounter Lidl intends to make increasing use of recycled materials in its packaging. According to its own figures, the retailer now has a 100 percent share in its own brand mineral water “Saskia”.
Lidl has set itself the goal of increasing the recyclability of all plastic packaging for its own brands to 100 percent by 2025. In addition, more and more recycling systems are to be closed and increasing use made of recycled materials, i.e. recycled plastic. One example of this is the 1.5 litre PET bottle of the “Saskia” brand still mineral water: the disposable bottle is made entirely from recycled PET, no new plastic is needed for production. The information “Bottle made of 100 percent recycled plastic” will be clearly displayed for customers on the label from mid-May.
The remaining bottles of the own brands “Saskia” and “Freeway” are on average at least 50 percent recycled material, according to the company, which belongs to the Schwarz Group. In addition to using recycled PET, Lidl is also saving new plastic by modifying the bottle shape. Thanks to the lower bottle weight and use of recycled PET, Lidl Deutschland has saved a total of around 260,000 tons of new PET in “Saskia” and “Freeway” bottles in recent years. This corresponds approximately 10,400 40-ton truck loads.
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“We want to further increase recyclability and the use of recycled materials, and gradually reduce the overall use of new plastics. To this end, we are jointly promoting recycling management processes within the Schwarz Group throughout Germany. The green 1.5-litre deposit-back bottle from recyclate for our own brand ‘Saskia’ still water shows how efficient our recycling system has become over the years. We are also continuously working on increasing the use of recycled material for the other PET bottles in our range,“ explains Wolf Tiedemann, Head of Central Services at Lidl Germany.
Disposable with deposit – a recycling system
With a recycling system, new plastics can increasingly be dispensed with in the production of PET bottles: The bottles returned to one of the more than 6,100 Lidl automatic deposit machines are sorted by colour, compressed and taken to the nearest Lidl logistics centre, where a press turns them into bales. These are then transported to a recycling plant run by Mitteldeutsche Erfrischungsgetränke GmbH & Co. KG (MEG – a Schwarz production company). There, they are ground, washed, dried, cleaned and melted to produce a regranulate which is moulded into bottle blanks, adding new granulate if necessary. At the filling plant the blanks are inflated, filled and delivered to the Lidl logistics centres. which supply the Lidl branches with new beverages. For years, Lidl has been cooperating with suppliers on a detailed analysis of where plastic can be completely dispensed with or where quantity can be significantly reduced, and where alternative or recycled packaging can be used. The aim is to increase overall recyclability and the use of recycled materials. The recycling system is part of the REset Plastic strategy initiated by the Schwarz Group.