To save resources and avoid waste, we are constantly working to reduce and optimize our packaging material. We also use more environmentally-friendly materials or recycle it. Since 2012, we have saved or environmentally improved around 36 500 tonnes of material.

Packaging: Avoid, reduce or optimize

450 000 tonnes of packaging material are thrown away each year in Switzerland. For many years, we have been actively working to reduce this quantity, saving resources and energy in manufacture, transport and disposal and reducing the overall volume of waste. Whenever possible, we sell fruit and vegetables loose. For our milk, juice and chilled drinks, we have switched to cardboard packaging which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and have reduced the quantity of materials in PET bottles.

Reduced packaging for fruit and vegetables

We are also keen to save as much packaging as possible for fruit and vegetables. To prevent our loose range of fruit and vegetables being packed in a plastic bag after weighing, in our supermarkets we offer Multi Bags, an innovative and sustainable solution. The Multi Bag is made from FSC-certified cellulose (Action no. 352) and replaces the disposable plastic bag.

We are making great strides: from autumn 2018, we are adding more unpacked fruit and vegetables to the existing range. For some products, however, packaging is still appropriate for hygiene reasons or because they would otherwise spoil too fast. We have also found solutions for these. For instance, we package our Naturaplan organic apples in a foodtainer made from grass paper which is made of up to 40 percent grass that is unsuitable as cattle feed. This enables a significant reduction in energy and water consumption compared with conventional cardboard packaging (Action no. 365). Our onion nets made from 100 percent cellulose fibres are another example. The cellulose is from wood obtained from thinning in Central Europe and is a more environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional plastic nets.

More sustainable packaging for all own-label brands

We continually evaluate whether there is a more ecological alternative to the existing packaging material. For example, we save on materials by using thinner-walled PET bottles and eliminating packaging for fruit and vegetables that are sold loose. We have introduced a more ecological option for drinks cartons, all of which are now FSC-certified. The central layer of the plastic trays used for many Bell products is made from food-safe recycled PET.

Due to their square shape, the large Betty Bossi salad bowls require a third less material which, furthermore, is mostly made from recycled PET. They are easier to stack and take up less space on the shelf and during transport – a successful example of comprehensive packaging optimization based on the pillars of Reduce and Optimize throughout the entire life cycle.

Hygiene and protection always assured

Since 2012, we have saved or environmentally optimized some 36 500 tonnes of packaging material. Despite all these savings, the more sustainable packaging provides optimum protection for the products and guarantees freshness and flavour.