Four Packaging Solutions in the Final

The jury of the German Sustainability Award has decided on the finalists for the “Special Packaging Award”. They include a recyclable packaging bucket, a reusable pizza box, plastic-saving containers for cleaning products, and a to-go reusable deposit system. For the fourth time, the award, in cooperation with REWE Group, honors sustainable packaging for tomorrow.

Under the motto “reduce, optimize, and avoid,” the “Special Packaging Award” of the German Sustainability Award, in cooperation with REWE Group, sought revolutionary solutions in the packaging market for the fourth time. The focus was on the avoidance and reduction of packaging waste, increased energy and resource efficiency as well as the recognizable benefits and affordability for consumers.

The following product packaging is in the final for the Special Packaging Award:

The S-Liner peel pail from SAIER Verpackungstechnik GmbH & Co. KG is, according to the jury, a pioneer when it comes to the recyclability of packaging: for materials such as wall paints, construction adhesives, or other building materials, packaging is indispensable on the one hand, and on the other, material residues often interfere with the recycling process of the containers. The S-Liner Peel is lined with a thin, peelable inner film that can simply be peeled off after use and removed along with the product residues. Instead of waste, what’s left is a clean bucket that can be recycled and potentially even refilled. The company was among the winners of the 2021 German Packaging Award in the “Sustainability” category.

With around 50,000 tons of waste per year, pizza boxes are the largest source of to-go waste in Germany by weight. Because of the food residues or the fats bound in the paper, they can only be disposed of in residual waste. The start-up PIZZycle GmbH solves the problem with a reusable and sealable plastic pizza box consisting of two identical, round trays. Ventilation slots ensure that water vapor can escape, and the pizza remains crispy. Cleaning is done in the dishwasher and can be handled in the respective catering establishments.

Detergent in large packages

Sodasan GmbH offers detergents and cleaning agents in large packages with a filling volume of 5 or 20 liters, which can be transferred to refill bottles in the household or at the bulk consumer. By way of comparison, dishwashing detergents are usually sold in 500 ml bottles in the retail trade, while liquid detergents are usually sold in thick-walled 2- to 4-liter plastic bottles. A 20-liter bulk container can thus replace up to 5 – 20 plastic bottles. For the containers, so-called bag-in-box packaging is used, which consists of a thin-walled plastic inner bag and an outer packaging made of corrugated cardboard. The latter provides the necessary stability during transport and storage. By dividing the packaging into two parts, the amount of plastic used can also be significantly reduced.

ReCup GmbH has been a supplier of returnable to-go cups from the very beginning. The ReCup system is aimed primarily at catering establishments and is already widespread in Germany with a deposit network of almost 13,000 dispensing and return points. The RECUP reusable plastic cup was expanded about two years ago to include the REBOWL reusable deposit bowls. The reusable containers are made available to end consumers directly at the catering establishment in return for a deposit, and after being returned they are cleaned there or by a regional service provider. The containers can be reused up to 1000 times and then recycled. The avoidance of to-go packaging waste is correspondingly high.

The jury of experts of the German Sustainability Award decided on the finalists and the winner in September. Appointed by the Stiftung Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis e.V., the panel brings perspectives from business, research, civil society, and politics into the decision-making process. The winner will be announced at the 15th German Sustainability Award ceremony in Düsseldorf on December 2, 2022.

The German Sustainability Award is the national award for excellence in sustainability in business, communities, and research. The award is presented by the German Sustainability Award Foundation in cooperation with the German federal government, leading municipal associations, business associations, civil society organizations, and research institutions.