Smarter packaging

Good packaging is important: it protects products, allows food to be stored longer and often provides useful information. And as a retailer, we also try to minimise its environmental impact. 

This initiative contributes to our objectives regarding

Published on 08/03/2022

What is sustainable packaging?

The packaging solution with the least environmental footprint is not always what you think it is at first glance. This is because many elements play a role in the entire carbon footprint of a product and its packaging. You have to take into account food spoilage, energy use in the production of the packaging, water use, transport and the like.

For our private labels – such as Boni and Spar – we accept the challenge to choose the best packaging per product for the environment. Our sustainability experts conduct research for this, such as life cycle assessment screenings.

Diagram: how does Colruyt Group make packaging sustainable? We make our packaging more sustainable according to three pillars, supported by innovation and communication

Refuse: avoiding packaging

If possible, we simply leave out the packaging. A lot of fruit and vegetables are sold in bulk, i.e. unpackaged.

Reduce: less packaging

Sometimes, packaging is necessary to keep a product fresh for longer. The environmental impact of food waste is often greater than that of the packaging. In that case, we try to replace, use less or reduce (part of) the packaging so that we need to use fewer materials.

  • We replaced the plastic lids of our nut and cheese packaging with resealable film. This saves more than 68 tonnes of plastic annually.
  • The Boni and Everyday salad spreads also use 45.5 tonnes less plastic annually. Their rounded bases means you can get to the content easier without food loss.
Cheese cubes of Boni with resealable packaging A resealable film instead of a plastic lid saves a lot of plastic.

Reuse: reuse of packaging

You can also avoid packaging by reusing it. Again and again and again…

  • The reusable bags for fruit and vegetables allow us to save no less than 150 million plastic bags every year.
  • You can take your shopping home in our reusable folding boxes and shopping bags. .
  • In several Bio-Planet stores you can fill your own jars or have them filled.
  • And in the reusable organic cotton Bio-Planet bread bag your bread stays nice and fresh.
Father and son use reusable bags for fruit and vegetables Put your reusable bags in your car or pannier. That way you won't forget them when you go shopping.

Investing in recycling

Our packaging is designed with a view to easy recycling after use. Our goal is to extract the purest and highest quality materials as possible after use of the packaging, which can then be reused. The more we recycle, the fewer new materials we need, so the better for the environment. 

How do we make our packaging easy to recycle?

  • We prefer packaging that is made entirely of one type of material.
  • If this is not possible, we choose materials that are easy to separate.
  • Light and transparent packaging is easier to recycle than dark packaging
  • We ensure that labels and printed sleeves do not have a negative effect on the recycling process.
  • More and more of our packaging has icons that indicate to which waste stream the packaging belongs.
Boni tagliatelle carbonara in transparent packaging The new transparent packaging of the fresh Boni preparations are easier to recycle than their darker predecessors

More sustainable materials

We choose packaging made from recycled or renewable materials.

  • Trays for fruit and prepared meat products, made with recycled paper and cardboard
  • Packaging from recycled plastic (rPET): from liquid detergents and all-purpose sprays to drinks bottles
  • Biobased materials, made from renewable raw materials such as sugar cane or bamboo
  • Certified materials: GOTS , FSC or PEFC, the EU Ecolabel, etc.
Boni all-purpose spray Boni-all-purpose sprays are 100% transparent rPET. Recycled, and easy to recycle again

Raising customers' awareness

As a retailer, we try to choose the most environmentally-friendly packaging for each product. We also raise our customers' awareness to do their bit by sorting their waste correctly. Only in this way can the packaging be recycled and given a new life. 

This initiative contributes to these sustainable development goal(s)
Learn more about our SDGs
This initiative contributes to step by step
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