Our strategic principles on packaging materials are exactly defined, and we implement them across our entire business wherever this is legally and technologically feasible. The reduction of packaging materials, use of more environmentally friendly packaging solutions and adherence to strict recycling standards are enshrined in our packaging policy.
A calculator made available by a renowned environmental consultancy firm enables HALBA to measure the ecological impact of new packaging materials and compare different packaging solutions in terms of their environmental friendliness. This approach examines a variety of environmental effects across the entire production, utilisation and disposal process. It takes emissions such as CO₂e and dioxins, utilised resources such as crude oil and wood, and all generated waste into account. The insights gained then inform meetings with our customers in which we discuss the choice of more environmentally friendly packaging materials.
We also have an interdisciplinary project group focusing on innovative packaging. Its purpose is to follow the latest developments in the packaging market and optimise HALBA’s existing packaging range for environmental aspects. Various factors are analysed: the packaging material needs to have good machine runnability to prevent issues in the packaging process. Product protection must be guaranteed, too: after all, the cultivation, processing and transportation of a food item have a much higher environmental impact than its packaging.
The topic of packaging is governed by the packaging policy and the strategy of our parent company, Coop. It is our express goal to reduce our plastic consumption per tonne of product sold by 15 per cent between 2021 and 2026. HALBA pursues two central measures in order to achieve this goal:
By using smaller packaging containers and thinner films, we can reduce the amount of packaging material needed. This requires the ability to implement these changes technologically during the packaging process and the certainty that product protection will still be guaranteed with the reduced packaging thickness (learn more).
In 2022, we will reduce the package height of various Christmas and Easter products, which will decrease the amount of plastic used.
We are also currently analysing existing packaging systems and redesigning them as and when necessary. In the snacks segment, for instance, multipack solutions are no longer sold in tubular plastic bags. Instead, the individual packages are held together with small plastic labels. This measure considerably reduces the amount of plastic packaging used. We have installed a new packaging line that allows us to implement the new system technologically. HALBA is currently examining the viability of this solution for chocolate bars, too.
Using alternative packaging materials.
In addition to reducing packaging volumes, we are continuously analysing our product range to identify opportunities for using more environmentally friendly packaging materials. Whenever the calculation of a product’s environmental impact confirms that an alternative material would be more sustainable and the use of that material is technologically feasible, we make the switch.
HALBA uses a wide variety of packaging types. The type and form of packaging is determined by the respective product. A distinction is made between primary and secondary packaging: The primary packaging (e.g. bags for snacks, aluminium foil for chocolate) directly wraps the product, protects it, enables transport and acts as an advertising space/communication medium. If the primary packaging cannot take over these functions, a secondary packaging is used (e.g. cardboard folding box for baking mixes, pouches for small chocolate articles, paper and cardboard cases for chocolate bars).