On 22 November in Düsseldorf, the firm Profol GmbH received the Special German Packaging Award in the category of Sustainability for its polypropylene board for closing food containers. With the polypropylene film, pots and lids do not have to be separated before disposal, which increases the recycling rate. The special award was presented for the first time this year by the German Sustainability Award Foundation together with the REWE supermarket Group.
Environmental protection has been a high priority for Profol GmbH for years. The company was founded 40 years ago with the aim of offering Cast Polypropylene (CPP) as a more ecological alternative to the office supplies market, which was then dominated by PVC films. In 2018, Profol won the German Packaging Award in the Sustainability category with its 100 per cent recyclable film for stand-up pouches (CPPouch).
With CPPeel, Profol has developed a film for lids – for example for yoghurt pots, – made of polypropylene (PP). Overall, the lids have significant environmental advantages over the usual aluminum lids. According to the manufacturer, the production of a PP lid requires only about one tenth of the energy required for a conventional aluminum lid. The production of aluminum requires bauxite, the mining of which has a variety of negative effects on the environment.
The jury of the Sustainability Award stated in its commendation, “From the point of view of sustainability, the avoidance of packaging and packaging materials of all kinds is of course the top priority. However, if packaging is required, the overall packaging solution should have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. Important criteria here are the energy, raw material and water requirements, the recyclability of the packaging and the protection of the packaged product”. Yoghurt pots with PP lids can be made entirely from one material – a big advantage over pots that may look environmentally friendly at first glance, but in fact are not. Plastic pots with cardboard coating and aluminum lids or aluminum-paper composite lids are not an environmentally friendly solution.
The use of Profol’s PP lid increases the recyclability of the yoghurt pot, because the pot and lid do not have to be separated before disposal, which increases the recycling rate. The situation is different for cups with aluminum lids: If the lid is not completely removed from the pot, the pot and the lid usually end up together in the aluminum fraction in the waste sorting system. The plastic is therefore lost for recycling. The pots with PP lids have not only the direct but also indirect environmental advantages mentioned above: The “puncture resistance” is considerably higher than with aluminum lids. This means that fewer lids are damaged, which reduces food losses. This is an ecological advantage, especially for dairy products.
Committed to sustainable management
About the German Sustainability Award: On 22 November, the 12th German Sustainability Award was presented in Düsseldorf in front of 1,200 guests. In cooperation with the German Federal Government, top achievements in sustainability in business, municipalities and research were honored. Awards of Honor were presented to former German President Joachim Gauck, the Colombian environmental activist Paula Caballero, the “Simply Red” front man Mick Hucknall and the Danish architect Bjarke Ingels for their social and ecological commitment. The special prize for Greta Thunberg was accepted on her behalf by “Fridays For Future” activists. More than 800 participants and projects that support the transition to a sustainable society had competed for the German Sustainability Award 2020. The trophy was awarded in a number of different categories.
The family business fischerwerke from Waldachtal is “Germany’s most sustainable large family-owned company 2020”. The jury praised the holistic sustainability management of the company, which is active in the fields of fastening technology, automotive interiors, toys and process consulting. The traditional Bavarian company Develey from Unterhaching won in the category “Medium-sized companies”. The manufacturer of mustard and delicatessen specialities attaches great importance to the regionality of its products and raw materials and has established an integrated sustainability system. In the SME category, the tofu manufacturer Taifun-Tofu from Freiburg convinced the jury.