Innovation Awards for Reusable Systems

The German Environmental Aid and the Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg (Reusable Initiative Foundation) have awarded the Reusable Innovation Prize to Alwa Mineralbrunnen GmbH, Fairfood Freiburg and Aquarömer GmbH & Co. KG. All three companies have implemented trend-setting developments in the reusable sector and are thus strengthening the German reusable system.

Efficient filling, banning of disposables, and food in reusable jars: the German Environmental Aid (DUH) and the Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg honored pioneering innovations. The award-winning company Alwa Mineralbrunnen commissioned a new bottling line at its production site in Sersheim, enabling it to save 14.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, equivalent to 4,800 tons of CO2 annually. This has enabled the company to cut its emissions at the site by almost a third. „In addition, the new plant is significantly more water- and energy-efficient. With its state-of-the-art refillable glass bottling line, the company is demonstrating how potential for climate and environmental protection can be used and the ecological advantage of reusable over single-use beverage packaging can be further extended,“ explains Jens Oldenburg, managing director of the Stiftung Initiative Mehrweg.

Doing away with single-use packaging

Aquarömer receives the Reusable Innovation Award as a special prize for its exemplary step of filling all its beverages exclusively into reusable containers and completely dispensing with single-use packaging in the product chain. „The mountain of packaging waste in Germany is reaching new record levels every year. Our latest packaging check confirms that supermarket shelves are full of single-use plastic packaging. This makes it all the more important that there are companies like Aquarömer that do not simply accept the growing mountains of waste and show that the consistent use of reusable bottles works. The mineral fountain has unceremoniously removed disposable bottles from its range and now relies only on regional reusable bottles. Despite such exemplary initiatives, political support for reusable bottles is needed to achieve the target quota of 70 percent set in the Packaging Act. Right now, the reusable rate is at a meager 42 percent. To finally do better here, Secretary of the Environment Steffi Lemke must introduce a levy on single-use beverage containers of at least 20 cents in addition to the deposit,“ says DUH federal deputy director Barbara Metz.

Reusable jars for food

Fairfood Freiburg is being honored because it is the first company in Germany to use the climate-friendly reusable system for food – outside the dairy sector. For example, nut purees, nuts and dried fruit are offered in the standard reusable jars previously used only for dairy products such as yogurt. According to BUH, the Freiburg-based company has managed to extend the reusable principle to product groups not previously offered in reusable jars and is thus leading the way for other companies in the food sector.