Plastic Bank, Engagement, Sustainability, r-PET, Convenience

Three goals, one path

27/11/2023 | 5 min read
André Flaspöhler

There are a variety of reasons for choosing a plant-based diet. While some people have their health in mind first and foremost, others are motivated primarily by animal welfare. However, more and more people are opting out of animal products for  ecological reasons. After all, both the keeping of animals and the processing of animal-based foodstuffs are said to cause considerable CO2e emissions. According to estimates, around 79 million people worldwide are now completely abstaining from animal products1. Yet an increasing number of people who adhere to a mixed diet are also happy to sample the vegan product range. No wonder, then, that the range of plant-based products is steadily increasing:
While the market for vegan products was just 19.7 billion US dollars in 2020, this is already estimated at 36.3 billion US dollars in 20302. This rise is also accompanied by an increase in the need for packaging
solutions for this market.


Those who choose vegan products for health reasons also expect optimum product protection from the packaging. And more. Greiner Packaging is a specialist for what is known as barrier packaging. This type of packaging provides particularly good protection against external influences, such as light or oxygen, thus helping to keep food fresh for a long time without having to resort to preservatives. The barrier function can be achieved in a variety of ways. For example, a barrier layer can be integrated into a standard plastic (PP/EVOH/PP), or labels with a barrier function can be used. However, PET packaging can also provide a very good, natural barrier that ensures a high level of product protection.


Images of sea creatures dying from plastic debris or land animals suffocating in plastic bottles have had a negative impact on the reputation of plastic packaging among animal rights activists and beyond. In addition to its commitment to widespread flows of recyclable materials, Greiner Packaging has been a partner of the social enterprise Plastic Bank® since as early as 2019. This enterprise has set itself the task of stopping plastic waste in the sea. Plastic packaging collected
from the environment by “Ocean Stewards” is processed and reintroduced into the global manufacturing supply chain as Social Plastic®. The collectors themselves exchange the collected plastic for life-enhancing benefits. The project
thus combines ecological with social added value. The partnership has already collected over 25 million plastic bottles, from which over 500 tons of Social Plastic® have been extracted.


Green thinking is omnipresent. Legislation is increasingly demanding sustainable food packaging and consumers are also becoming more aware of which packaging is sustainable and which is not. At Greiner Packaging, we see
ourselves as experts in future-proof packaging. We pursue three approaches in this regard:

  • Reduce: We reduce the use of plastics to a minimum.
  • Reuse: We offer reusable concepts.
  • Recycle: We develop packaging that can be optimally recycled and use as much recycled material for our packaging as possible.


One type of packaging that performs well on both the “Reduce” and “Recycle” levels is cardboard-plastic combinations: The thin, unprinted plastic cup is particularly resource-efficient and ideal for recycling. To further increase the separation rate
of cardboard and plastic – and not depend purely on consumer commitment – Greiner Packaging recently launched the innovation K3® r100.

Due to its many sustainability benefits, K3® packaging is particularly popular for vegan products.


1) 2023 Vegan and Plant-Based diet Statistics - Soylent

2) Vegan Food Market Size, Share Industry Forecast To 2030 ( 

K3® r100

Here, the cardboard wrap separates from the plastic cup independently in the waste collection process, eliminating the need for human intervention.

But reuse concepts are also increasingly in demand. Especially in the takeaway sector, they are a popular – and in some countries already legally required – alternative to previous single-use solutions. The Greiner Packaging reuse concept
of a bowl container, developed by the in-house design agency DesPro (Design & Prototyping), is of particular interest to fans of vegan nutrition. After consumers have enjoyed their vegan bowl or delicious salad, they can simply return the
container to the restaurant, where it is washed and made available again for new takeaway purposes. Packaging-related data, such as wash runs, inventory levels or location, can be collected via RFID chip as needed.

Sustainable packaging for future-proof products

PlantA: Vegan products for every taste

Everyone enjoys plant-based foods these days. A group of industrial investors has also recognized this development and made it their mission to commercialize the plant-based food industry. The first step on this path was to establish – under the
name PlantA – a state-of-the-art plant in Anklam in northern Germany, where delicious alternatives to fermented dairy products are produced and filled for a variety of customers. Greiner Packaging supplies PlantA with 150 g, 400 g and 230 mL cups
filled with vegan yogurts and drinks based on oats or coconut.


Hummus: Oriental delicacy shown in the best light

Rich in protein, iron and vitamin C: Due to their high nutritional content, chickpeas – and dips and spreads made from them – are also becoming increasingly popular in Austria. Packaging made of transparent r-PET is the ideal way to present
these delicious and healthy products in the best light. Greiner Packaging produces both lids and cups in a wide variety of sizes and with a wide variety of proportions of recycled material and serves customers from all over Europe with the
sustainable packaging, which has a high CO2e savings potential due to its recycled content.


Interview: vegan products - sustainable packaging

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