We do it: Sustainable packaging material

We do it: Sustainable packaging material

The paper bags in the Kneipp shops are only the most obvious sign that in packaging matters, too, we have long been addressing the issue of sustainability over and over again. It is part of our daily lives.

Thus, for each new development of a packaging material, also environmental factors are considered. Here we use the following checklist:
• Environmentally sound design and material selection
• Waste volume
• Material suitability for mechanical stress
• Adequate physical and chemical resistance
• Delivery form according to various environmental aspects 
• Sufficient transport protection
• Disposal options

What we use for packaging

Paper plays a major role in our packaging. At Kneipp, only certified materials are used: For example, FSC- or PEFC-certified paper stocks and cardboard for packaging inserts, folding cartons and outer packaging, as well as for promotional materials.

However, paper is not suitable for all Kneipp products. To burden the environment as little as possible, the requirement that they must be recyclable as much as possible applies to all other packaging materials as well. Thus, we sell many products e.g. in glass containers.

100-ml glass bottles are among the primary packaging formats that we use most frequently at Kneipp. In one of our regular projects for more sustainable design of the packaging materials, their weight could be reduced by 9 grams. At a production of 6 million bottles (which is about our annual demand), this results in a CO2 saving of around 35 tonnes.

Through another project for saving in packaging materials, Kneipp was able to gradually reduce the weight of plastic closures, forming a part of our most commonly used tube, by 5.6 grams since 2008. At a current demand of around 4 million closures per year, this corresponds to avoiding 74 tonnes of CO2.

Recycling values

After use, Kneipp’s packagings are still no waste, but a valuable resource. Thus, end users can and should feed them into the recycling process via the DSD system or other local collection schemes.

Moreover, Kneipp also collects the waste formed during production and has it recycled, if possible (and most of the waste can be), by approved, certified disposal companies.

Apart from recycling, avoidance of waste is likewise a big issue in the ongoing optimisation of production processes. Successfully: Since 2009, we have reduced the amount of waste per tonne of bulk considerably.

Social sustainability

Often heard, yet easily forgotten: Sustainability concerns not only ecological and economic matters. It also has a social component, pertaining to society as a whole.

In the manu­facture of gift packs, displays or required re­packing work, Kneipp therefore preferably avails itself of offers by social institutions – for example those by the Mainfränkische Werkstätten. This helps many people with physical or multiple dis­abilities there to have not only a job and social security, but also a varied task tailored to their needs and capa­cities.

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