Fazer’s new Sustainable packaging vision targets plastic reduction, improved recyclability, and the development of new ecological packaging solutions
Fazer works systematically to find more environmentally friendly packaging solutions. The company has achieved significant results as it has reduced its annual use of plastic in packaging by approximately 300,000 kg. Today, 99.8% of Fazer’s packaging materials are sortable for recycling. Fazer has also implemented clear recycling symbols on all its product packaging to help consumers in sorting.
The extensive work is guided by Fazer’s Sustainable packaging vision which consists of three areas: reducing the amount of used packaging materials, improving the 3R’s – recyclability, renewability, and reusability –, and developing entirely new types of ecological packaging solutions by cooperating with external partners.
Fazer has reduced its annual use of plastic in packaging by approximately 300,000 kg
Since 2018, Fazer has reduced the use of plastic in its packaging by optimising package sizes and material thicknesses as well as replacing plastics with other materials. For example, Oululainen Reissumies and Fazer Paahto bread bags and bun bags have been thinned and reduced in size. Plastic reduction measures have been taken also by optimising the Remix candy bag packaging and by removing disposable spoons and lids from Fazer Aito Oat Gurts. In total, Fazer Group’s annual use of plastic has been reduced by approximately 300,000 kg.
25,000 kg less metal annually
Over the past years, Fazer has also removed metal and replaced it with carton or paper solutions in many of its packaging. For example, the changes made in the cups and forms of Berry Pies and other sweet bakery products reduced the amount of annually used metal by approximately 12,000 kg. The metallised bottom in Fazer Dumle Granola and Fazer Fazerina Granola packaging was replaced with a fibre-based solution, contributing 13,000 kg in metal packaging reduction and bringing the Fazer Group´s total amount of reduced metal up to 25,000 kg.
Forerunner in launching new types of packaging solutions
As a forerunner in sustainable packaging solutions, Fazer continuously cooperates with packaging material companies, researchers, and educational institutions. Results of the determined research and development work can be seen in Fazer’s product packaging.
In 2021, Fazer introduced a cake roll packaging made of 100% recycled plastic. On a yearly basis, up to 1.2 million recycled bottles get a new life in the cake roll packaging, and the need of new plastic at Fazer was reduced by 24,000 kg.
“Recycled plastic is a little more expensive than new plastic, but this is one of the ecological choices we want to make. Fazer focuses strongly on sustainable packaging development and as a forerunner wants to lead the way in the food industry in Finland and even internationally in the future,” says Piia Soininen-Tengvall, Fazer Group’s Packaging Development Director.
In addition to finding ways to use recycled plastic, Fazer also aims at using as much renewable materials as possible. Plant-based packaging has been introduced for example in oat drinks which can be stored unopened at the room temperature. 87% of the material in Fazer Aito Oat Drink Barista packaging is plant-based and renewable, and the screw cap is made of sugar cane. With this change, the carbon footprint of this oat drink packaging was reduced by 21%1).
“We have several packaging projects on-going, and the results will be visible within some years. Solutions that we have developed – such as the bread bag made of oat hulls, the entirely new, seamable paper-based material and the dispersion coated paperboard – will be usable in many different packaging. They can be utilised to replace for instance non-recyclable multilayer plastic and to reduce the amount of hidden plastic in product packaging materials,” Soininen-Tengvall continues.
All Fazer packaging are designed for circular economy
Fazer aims to achieve maximum packaging recyclability by 2025 meaning that all its packaging material can be sorted for recycling, is made of natural materials, and can be kept in circulation as long as possible without wasting it by burning or composting. Already today, 99.8% of Fazer’s packaging can be sorted as recyclable paper, carton, metal, glass, or plastic.
Keeping packaging materials in circulation requires actions from both companies and consumers. Even if there are clear recycling symbols in Fazer’s product packaging that help consumers to sort the materials, two more steps are required for a successful recycling process.
“Recycling can only happen when the correctly sorted materials are handled in a proper way and there is a market for the recycled material. This is the reason why we changed polypropylene into polyethylene in Fazer’s plastic bread bags. There is currently no demand for polypropylene and recycling companies usually end up burning it, meanwhile polyethylene can be reused in new products. The change we made supports the circular economy,” Soininen-Tengvall explains.
“The EU targets for more sustainable packaging are very ambitious, and that’s how it should be. Companies play a significant role not only in developing more environmentally friendly packaging but also in increasing the consumers’ awareness and guiding them in recycling,” Soininen-Tengvall finishes.
Fazer’s Sustainable packaging vision
At Fazer, the choices and decision-making related to sustainable packaging are guided by the company’s extensive Sustainable packaging vision, and all product packaging is designed according to the principles of the circular economy. In line with its Sustainable packaging vision, Fazer promotes the use of recyclable, reusable, and renewable packaging materials and develops new environmentally friendly packaging solutions. By selecting the right materials and producing smaller pack sizes, food industry companies can help consumers reduce their food waste because the packaging protects the product and prolongs its shelf life.
Fazer promotes responsible forestry
Fazer is committed to promoting responsible forestry and as part of the Sustainable packaging vision Fazer commits to use only certified or recycled fibre-based packaging materials by 2026. This commitment guides Fazer’s operations in order not to contribute to deforestation.
1) Tetra Pak/Carbon Trust, Carbon footprint report