The Basis for a Well-Functioning Circular Economy
The REcycle action area deals with plastic collection, sorting and recovery. We examine the entire plastic packaging and products value chain, starting with production, through retail and all the way to disposal and recycling.
In so doing, we enjoy the benefits of our own know-how provided by all of our business units. However, we don't just make use of our internal expertise, but also work closely with external partners from science and industry in order to bring about further innovations in recycling. Our REcycle action area thus makes a key contribution to reducing the use of new material and instead deploys those plastics which already exist in the recycling loop.
From Disposable Product to Recycling Loop
The aim of the REcycle action area is as clear as it is multi-facetted: to move traditional product life, with its stages of production, purchasing, consumption, and disposal, into a recycling loop.
We aspire to recycle used materials in order to produce recycled products from them. Whenever possible, we keep recyclable materials in the recycling loop, such as Schwarz Produktion's disposable PET beverage bottles. Schwarz Produktion intends to use an average of around 90 percent recycled PET in its bottles by 2023. In Germany, they will even achieve the use of 100 percent recycled PET within 2021.
However, there are instances in which a recycling loop isn't yet feasible. In those cases, we nonetheless try to give those materials a second life through recycling. Because of statutory requirements, it is currently challenging to turn recycled food packaging which was collected without prior sorting into new food packaging. However, it may be processed into new applications, such as household products.
Classic Example of Optimum Recycling: Schwarz Produktion Disposable PET Beverage Bottles
The Schwarz Group has created a unique recycling loop for PET bottles in Germany which revolves around the disposable bottle returns system and brings all recycling steps together under one roof.
Learn in the video how the PET recycle cycle looks like step by step.
The Closed-Loop Bottle in Numbers
100 percent recycling material
in all self-produced disposable bottles (except lid and label)
24.5 grams in weight
1.5 liter "Saskia still" – one of the lightest bottles on the market
> 60,000 tons less new PET material
used in 2020
> 110,000 tons CO2
saved in 2020
Recycled Product – the Alternative to Closed-Loop Products
If it is not possible to produce a closed-loop product, we rely on recycled products wherever possible:
The customer buys products packaged in plastic at Lidl and Kaufland stores.
The customer disposes of its packaging in the collection of recyclable materials, in Germany, for example, via the yellow bag or the yellow garbage can. With the help of its own disposal vehicles and its network of disposal companies, PreZero collects the recyclables and transports the material to the sorting facilities.
In the sorting facilities, the delivered packaging is sorted into different fractions using state-of-the-art methods. The material is then washed, shredded and processed into recyclate.
Together with a partner company, we produce new products such as laundry baskets or clothes hangers from the recyclate.
The products are available in Lidl and Kaufland stores.