Our commitment

Initiatives, projects, and examples of best practice

There are still a number of obstacles that need to be overcome on the road to a successful circular economy. We know this. But no effort is too great for us, and we are taking numerous steps to make our economic system more sustainable. 

Learn more about our initiatives, projects, and partnerships below. 

Blue Plan encompasses all parts of our company around the world. It focuses on three major priority areas, which we have identified as key issues that will shape Greiner’s future: climate change, creating a circular business, and people. Greiner AG published its first sustainability report in 2019. For further information on Greiner’s key topics and goals in the area of sustainability, please visit sustainability.greiner.com.

Plastic bankPut simply, Plastic Bank’s aims are to stop plastic refuse from entering our oceans while simultaneously fighting poverty. Based in Canada, the social enterprise operates collection points for plastic refuse in coastal regions. Local collectors pick up the plastic refuse on beaches and streets before bringing it to the collection centers. It’s weighed there, and the collectors are compensated based on the weight. The refuse is then transported from the collection points to recycling facilities, where it’s sorted and reprocessed. Finally, the material is resold. The Social Plastic® this system produces can be used as recycled material for new products, which means it contributes to a functioning circular economy. We are the world’s first packaging company to become a Plastic Bank partner and have opened our own collection points in Manila in the Philippines. 


Plastic refuse makes up an increasing share of the pollution in the world’s oceans. This is a problem in Asian countries in particular due to a lack of functioning waste management systems in these regions. China and Indonesia are the world’s biggest producers of plastic refuse, followed by the Philippines. An estimated 2,000,000 tons of plastic end up in the ocean here every year. Experts believe that the country’s Pasig River is alone responsible for introducing 63,700 metric tons of plastic into the ocean every year. 

We saw this situation as reason enough to get involved. We’re particularly impressed by Plastic Bank’s end-to-end approach, which cleans up the environment while simultaneously fighting poverty. Paying people to collect and sort plastic refuse changes their attitude toward plastic as a material. They no longer see it as waste, but rather as a valuable resource.

Interested in learning more about the partnership between Greiner Packaging and Plastic Bank? Check out our video on the opening of our first joint collection point in Manila here.
 
Greiner Packaging has been a member of the UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation since 2016. By that we are supporting the transition to a circular economy. One of these projects (CPO) aims to develop technologies so recycled material can be recovered from polyolefin waste. This is key, because some 50 percent of all plastic packaging in household refuse is made from polyolefins (PO). Our goal is to recover recycled material with characteristics that allow non-food packaging to be produced from it.
In 2018, Greiner Packaging signed the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment launched by the UK-based Ellen MacArthur Foundation. This commitment unites stakeholders from the entire value chain who have set themselves highly ambitious goals to achieve a circular economy. All signatories must work to uphold the minimum obligations specified in it. They are reviewed every 18 to 24 months and increased where necessary.

In addition to the minimum targets, Greiner Packaging has set itself the following goals for 2025:
  • We are taking steps to eliminate problematic and unnecessary plastic packaging.
  • We are aiming to make all our plastic packaging 100 percent recyclable, reusable, or compostable.
  • We want recycled materials to cover a significant share of the materials we utilize.
Our location in Dungannon, UK, is a founding member of the UK Plastics Pact, an initiative launched by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The goal of this pact is to keep plastic out of nature and create a new approach for the entire packaging system.




The 42 signatories to the pact have set themselves the following goals for 2025:
  • Take actions to eliminate single-use plastics through redesign, innovations, or alternative (reuse) delivery models.
  • Make 100 percent of plastic packaging recyclable, reusable, or compostable.
  • Effectively recycle or compost seventy percent of plastic packaging.
  • Achieve an average share of 30 percent recycled material across all types of plastic packaging.
Since 2013, Greiner Packaging Austria has been an official partner of Austria-based klimaaktiv pakt 2020. klimaaktiv is a climate protection initiative launched by Austria’s Ministry for Sustainability and Tourism (BMNT). By signing this pact alongside the other eleven project partners, we committed to achieving the following ambitious climate goals:
 
  • Reduce the greenhouse gases we produce by more than 16 percent by 2020.
  • Boost our energy efficiency by a minimum of 20 percent.
  • Use at least 34 percent renewable sources (10 percent in the transport and mobility areas).

The companies already succeeded in meeting all their targets a year before the official deadline. They are now working to set additional climate goals.
 
The Linz Institute of Technology (LTI) at Johannes Kepler University Linz teamed up with several industry partners to conduct research at the LIT Factory (for instance as part of the CHASE competence center): The partners are focusing on methods and process technologies along with new possibilities for recycling and utilizing recycled materials. 
 
Polypropylene and polyethylene (PE) make up around half of all plastic refuse in household waste. 
These materials are more difficult to recycle due to their chemical properties. Moreover, there’s still no guaranteed or sufficiently pure sources of recycled materials from the food segment. We’re working on a circular economy for PP and PE in two projects:
  • Rec2Pack: This project tests the use of recycled materials for non-food and food products.
  • CIRCUMAT: In this project, we’re researching recycling methods for refuse in the non-food segment. 
There’s already an established circular economy for PET bottles. However, this isn’t the case for other products made from PET (such as cups) for the most part. In the rePETitio project, we’re collecting household waste made from PET (for example, blister packaging, bowls, and films). These items are sorted and cleaned before being processed into flakes. The flakes are then used to produce r-PET products, which are subsequently compared with products made from virgin PET. The Pet2Pack project is also aiming to close the loop for PET products. Recycled materials that are recovered in the project are also to be researched for use in food packaging.
Polystyrene (PS) is a very common type of plastic. It’s frequently used in packaging as well. As a member of Styrenics Circular Solutions (SCS) Greiner Packaging is supporting efforts to close the loop for PS. We believe that methods such as chemical recycling for PS offer great potential. We’re pushing forward with this in a partnership with Trinseo, a chemicals company
 

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