An all-embracing approach

Our strategy

The number of people on earth is growing rapidly. As the population increases, so does the amount waste we generate and raw materials we consume. We will therefore need to ask ourselves, how can we produce less waste and live a more sustainable lifestyle in the future? Sustainability means finding new approaches for recycling waste, reusing products, developing biodegradable materials, and minimizing our use of resources.

Sustainability especially relates to us as one of the leading packaging producers. We take this issue seriously. Therefore, we focus on five aspects: Products, Supply Chain, Environment & Resources, Employees as well as Communication & CSR.

From raw to recycled material

Our statement

We welcome the European plastic strategy that was presented by the European Commission in January 2018. The recyclability of products as well as the use of recycled materials are ideas that are embedded in our business strategy as well. It is important for us to keep the entire eco-balance of a product in mind and we focus on a so-called circular economy.

Product design is of crucial importance since our guiding motto is: “Designed for Recyclability”. We develop packaging that is not just recyclable, but that also aims to improve the ecological balance. Furthermore, we see the greater use of r-PET, but also r-PE and r-PP, as an opportunity to get a sustainable circular economy for plastics underway.

We too support the reduction of the use of plastic where it makes sense and where there are realistic alternatives.

We would like to state that, for us, bio-based plastics are currently not an alternative to existing materials on an industrial scale. Used in rigid packaging, they are neither compostable, nor are there currently enough appropriate collecting, sorting, or recycling streams. Moreover, it is not in our interest to use land that is available for producing food to produce packaging material.

The full sustainability statement from Greiner Packaging can be found here (PDF for download).

Taking responsibility

Our objectives

Within the framework of the “New Plastics Economy Global Commitment” of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, we committed ourselves to the following objectives in particular:

  • We will take measures to eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging by 2025.
  • We will aim to make 100% of our plastic packaging 100% recyclable, reusable, or compostable by 2025.
  • We will set an ambitious recycled material goal for plastics packaging which is to be achieved by 2025. We will aim to utilize recycled material as a considerable portion of the materials we process by 2025.

The voluntary commitment, which is being implemented in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme, aims to devise a global response to the most pressing questions concerning the problem of plastics. This will ensure that action is taken to counteract plastic waste from the very start.

These voluntary obligations of the commitment will be examined every 18 to 24 months. This will ensure that the signatories of the commitment will also play a leading role in these efforts in the future.

More about our collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation and the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment can be found here.

Powerful partners for sustainable actions

Our network

We are a proud partner of renowned organizations that stand up for a responsible dealing with plastics.

Plastics 4 Life
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Plastics 4 Life

Together will all divisions of the Greiner AG, we work on the implementation of our “Plastics 4 Life Strategy”. According to the strategy, we deal with the social and ecological impacts of our actions. Sustainability is important to us ever since, not only because of the introduction of the “Plastics 4 Life Strategy”. The topic is anchored in our “Greiner DNA” all times.

Ellen MacArthur Foundation
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Ellen MacArthur Foundation

Greiner Packaging has already been part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation since 2016. The efforts center on the transition from a linear economic model to a circular economy. A range of related projects focuses on topics such as PC r-PO, PC r-PET, and design possibilities that drive a circular economy.

New Plastics Economy Global Commitment
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New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

klimaaktiv pakt2020
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klimaaktiv pakt2020

We are official partner of the Austrian klimaaktiv pakt 2020. By joining this organization, we support environmental protection and the reduction of CO2.

Linz Institute of Technology
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In cooperation with the LIT (Linz Institute of Technology of the Johannes Kepler University) and numerous industrial partners, we do research on technology and process engineering as well as on new possibilities for recycling and the use of recycled material.

Progress through innovation

Product optimization

The optimization of our products is essential to us. The best example of this is our K3® cup. This cardboard-plastic combination is captivating due to the reduced use of plastics, the use of recycling material, the recycling capability, the perfect barrier properties and the excellent CO2 footprint.
Read here more about it.

Material

We emphasize the use of recycled material. In the food as well as in the non-food area, the plastics industry faces some special challenges. We need to guarantee our clients a constant material flow and at the same time guarantee a material quality that meets all requirements. Recycled material must that has food contact must be approved by the European Food Safety Authority. At the moment only r-PET (and partially r-PE) are allowed.

Projects

Short and sweet

FAQs

The concept of sustainability comprises three core dimensions: the ecological (environment), the economic (business), and the social (society). Bringing these three aspects together to form a united whole is what creates sustainable behavior. Ecological, economic, and social developments cannot take place separately from one another or in opposition to one another. Ongoing economic and social progress will be impossible without an intact environment. At the same time, it won’t be possible to have an intact environment without economic and social prosperity. The guiding principle of sustainable development is thus: Taking a long- term perspective, today’s global community must not live at the expense of future generations.

Sustainability is not a fad. The roots of the modern concept of sustainability go back to the 18th century. “Fell only as much wood as can regrow.” These were the words of mining administrator Hans-Karl von Carlowitz, who first formulated this principle of sustainability in Germany in 1713. He wanted to ensure that there would be enough wood available on a lasting basis.

Circular economy is the opposite of a linear economy which focuses only on the “take, make, dispose” model of production. Correct recycling and the production of secondary raw materials are the basis of a working circular economy. Resources are saved, emissions are minimized. Nature, where all things automatically go through a cycle, is the role model for the circular economy. One species’ waste is another species’ food; plants and animals grow and then die, and the nutrients flow back into the soil. The sun and rain supply energy. In a linear system, however, the raw materials are lost after use. This is the reason why we stand up for the idea of a global circular economy.

The global circular economy is a topic of essential significance: According to research, it is estimated that more than 8.3 billion tons of plastic have been produced since the early 1950s, around 60% of which is found in landfills or the environment. Eight million metric tons of plastic end up in the ocean each year. Plastic packaging cannot be considered solely responsible for global environmental pollution. At the same time, it is a main field of application for plastic given that around one-third of plastics worldwide go directly into packaging solutions. For this reason, it is important to us that we keep plastics out of the natural world and in the circular economy as a recyclable material for as long as possible.

Plastics are better than their reputation might suggest. Plastics open up many possibilities: They can be used and processed in a wide variety of ways in every area of life. A few examples: The use of plastic packaging reduces an average truck load by 800 kilos. When used in cars or airplanes, this reduction in weight therefore helps save fuel. Packaging also extends the shelf life of foods and can help to reduce food waste. If you consider the eco-balance of different materials, plastics have a much more positive one than, for example, glass or aluminum. Providing that, of course, the material is placed in the recycling after being used and is properly disposed of rather than discarded in nature. Plastics truly are better than their reputation might suggest! The problem is not the material but rather the careless way in which the material is handled. There are no waste management systems in many countries. This means that waste is not picked up and professionally disposed of. Instead, it ends up on the street, in nature, and frequently in rivers and seas as well.