Sustainable paper-based sliced cheese packaging: Mondi and REWE Group in Austria focus on sustainability and better recyclability.
REWE Group, one of the largest retailers in Austria, packs its premium cheese product range of the organic brand “Ja!Natürlich” with a new, patented paper solution from the packaging and paper company Mondi. The organic cheese slices made from hay-flower milk are offered at the Austrian supermarkets BILLA, MERKUR, ADEG and Sutterlüty in the self-service showcase on natural brown paper trays. In Austria, these can be recycled via waste paper, as they consist of 80 percent fresh fibre and only 20 percent plastic. The companies report that the use of plastic has been reduced by 70 percent compared to the packaging used previously.
Georg Kasperkovitz, CEO Consumer Packaging at Mondi, explains: “As a manufacturer of paper and plastic packaging, we monitor trends very closely and select the optimum solution together with our customers. Packaging should always be suitable for its respective purpose. Paper where possible, plastic where sensible’ is therefore our motto. Especially in the food sector, barrier properties are indispensable for the shelf life and freshness of products. This is precisely where we as an integrated supplier can develop tailor-made solutions and thus make a valuable contribution to a sustainable society”.
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The natural brown paper for the new cheese packaging is produced at the Mondi Frantschach plant in Carinthia using mainly domestic wood. The paper tray is also processed and coated entirely in Austria by Mondi in Zeltweg, Styria. In this way, transport routes can be kept short and most of the added value remains in the country. After a test phase of nine months in cooperation with the Salzburgmilch dairy, the new packaging is now being launched for cheese slices from delicatessen in the varieties “Bio Alpkönig”, “Bio Gouda”, “Bio Emmentaler”, “Bio Butterkäse” and “Bio Bergkäse”. The new paper-based packaging solution will soon also be available in national supermarket chains in France and Poland.
The switch to paper-based solutions has many advantages over conventional packaging. On the one hand, paper has the lowest CO2 footprint of all packaging types. Furthermore, paper is very easy to recycle and already has recycling rates of over 80 percent in Europe – a top value compared to other packaging materials. The EU and consumers are increasingly demanding more recyclable and sustainable solutions.