Recycling, Sustainability, Product

Packaging as a superhero: How to store salads and spreads sustainably

10/07/2024 | 5 min read

Crunchy leaf salad mixes, creamy vegetable mayonnaise, exotic couscous salads, and spicy spreads can be found in almost every supermarket today: Conveniently packaged, often with dressings and toppings, these products have become an integral part of many people’s everyday lives. No wonder – these tasty specialties are perfect for satisfying hunger pangs during lunch breaks in the office, at picnics in the park or on the go.

Yet to ensure that the products not only deliver fresh content, but also meet the requirements of consumers in terms of sustainability, Greiner Packaging has tackled the packaging – and turned it into a true sustainability hero. Packaging helps save material, increases recyclability, protects the filled content and looks exceptionally good at the same time. It thus satisfies everything the market expects from sustainable packaging for chilled food. By choosing sustainable plastic packaging for salads and spreads, customers and consumers become superheroes themselves – by reducing their carbon footprint and thus supporting a greener planet. 

Sustainability heroes at a glance

r-PET: The invisible 

As transparent as glass and yet virtually unbreakable – the r-PET packaging hero!

Its high availability, approval for food contact, and high quality make r-PET the material of choice when it comes to  sustainable food packaging. Fresh salads and tasty spreads in particular benefit from the perfect product visibility provided by transparent r-PET packaging.  

The advantages: 

  • High transparency: Thanks to r-PET's high transparency, consumers can see the packaged food's appearance and freshness on the supermarket shelf.  
  • Wide availability: r-PET is readily available in Europe and internationally. Greiner Packaging customers benefit from r-PET flakes from Greiner Recycling, Greiner Packaging’s recycling plant in Serbia. 
  • Food quality combined with r-content: r-PET is compliant with food contact legislation, so it is (almost) the only mechanically recycled material that can be used for food packaging.  
  • Good CO2e balance: r-PET causes significantly lower CO2e emissions compared to new materials. 
  • Recyclability: Packaging with recyclate use and recyclability should be financially better off in the future than packaging that is disadvantageous to the circular economy – the use of r-PET can counteract a potential plastic tax. 
  • Low oxygen permeability: Thanks to its good barrier properties, r-PET protects products particularly well from external influences such as oxygen or light – especially when the packaging is combined with barrier technology. 
  • High compatibility with fatty products: Even products with a high fat content can be safely packaged in r-PET. 

Get more information about r-PET

Sealing lid: The protector 

Oxygen, light, bacteria – nobody stands a chance against the protector: the sustainable plastic lid packaging hero! 

Sealing lids are a sustainable and practical choice for any plastic cup. They protect the food in the packaging throughout the entire product life cycle – from filling to storage in the supermarket and in the customer’s fridge through to disposal. Ultrasonic sealing guarantees high cycle rates for optimum efficiency, making the solution both ecological and economical for high volumes. Sealing lids are available in various formats – from 75 mm to 127 mm in diameter, from square to oval. The material of choice is PP, but Greiner Packaging is also working on a PET version. The lid solution is also compatible with various cup decorations: Print, sleeve, K3®, and IML cups can be produced in combination with sealing lids. Lids keep salads and spreads in particular fresh for longer and preserve their taste perfectly. 

The advantages: 

  • Monomaterial solution: The cup and lid can be made from a single material – ideal for recycling. This also saves on the aluminum sealing. 
  • Food protection: The lid provides tamper protection. The lid closes the cup again after opening, ensuring safe storage. This protects the product from external influences even after it has been opened for the first time. 
  • Fast production process: Ultrasonic sealing can reduce the sealing time by a factor of six to seven compared to thermal sealing processes. It also guarantees maximum precision. This type of sealing is particularly suitable for high volumes (over 40 million units). 

K3® r100: The magician 

Magic brought to life – that’s the K3® r100 packaging hero! 

This product innovation has made the impossible possible: Cardboard sleeve and plastic cup separate from each other during waste disposal, without any human intervention. This means the packaging can be recycled easily without the end consumer having to separate the components correctly. Spreads can be displayed to their best advantage in the visually appealing packaging! 

K3® r100 cups are currently available in the following filling quantities: 150 g, 250 g, 400 g and 500 g. 

The advantages: 

  • Reduced plastic content: The cardboard sleeve makes the plastic cup more stable, so the cup can be produced with particularly thin walls. In addition, the unprinted cup produces high-quality recycled material. 
  • Reduced CO2e emissions: Significantly less plastic is used in producing a K3® cup – this also significantly reduces the CO2e emissions associated with the cups. 
  • Self-separating: The cardboard sleeve separates itself from the plastic cup during waste disposal – without any effort on the consumer’s part. This self-separating mechanism significantly increases the cup’s recyclability. 
  • Intuitive tear-off solution: Consumers who want to do it themselves and take a look at the information on the back of the cardboard sleeve benefit from Greiner Packaging’s intuitive tear-off system: This makes separating and disposing of the two packaging components as easy as possible. 
  • Use of recycled materials: The cardboard sleeve can be made from up to 100% recycled material. The plastic cup can also contain recycled material – even up to 100% r-PET. » Unique design options: For maximum visual appeal, the cardboard sleeve can be printed on both sides and individually finished. Window cut-outs can also be incorporated into the sleeve, allowing consumers to get a first glimpse of the product inside at the point of sale. 

The K3® r100 packaging hero! 

Reusable packaging – the resilient ones 

True sustainability heroes keep on coming – like reusable packaging that can be used again and again in a global circular economy. They’re durable, easy to clean, stackable, and compatible with automated systems. 


The advantages: 

  • Waste reduction and environmental impact: Reusable packaging reduces the amount of packaging material that needs to be produced, transported, and discarded. This saves energy and resources as well as reduces greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Savings: Reusable packaging can reduce costs. Producers save on materials, transportation, and disposal fees. Consumers save on new packaging and don’t have to pay for disposing of old packaging. 
  • Brand image: Reusable packaging helps companies stand out from the competition and demonstrates their commitment to sustainability and social responsibility. 
  • Brand loyalty: Reusable packaging leaves a positive impression on consumers and encourages them to reuse, return or recycle packaging. This boosts customer satisfaction and recommendations. 
  • Connected packaging: Applications such as RFID chips integrated into reusable packaging help determine where the packaging is in the cycle at any given time, how many times it has already been through the cycle, or when the packaging leaves the cycle. 

Related articles