Cradle-to-Cradle or because “as little environmentally harmful packaging as possible” is not good enough

Cradle-to-Cradle oder weil «möglichst wenig umweltschädliche» Verpackungen nicht gut genug sind

Aha! SIMPLE FACTS Food must be safely packaged by law. But this still too often generates huge amounts of waste, even with recyclable packaging made from recycled raw materials such as cardboard, albeit less. Why this is the case and why, thanks to Cradle to Cradle, our cardboard packaging is 100% recyclable, with no waste whatsoever.

Packaging is part of our everyday life. Who does not know it? After purchasing a product, you are left with the annoying feeling of having purchased almost more packaging waste than the actual product. In no time, trash cans and recycling boxes fill up with plastic, metal, glass or cardboard.

Often the packaging and the associated waste could be avoided or at least reduced. Often their purpose is primarily a clear presentation that distinguishes the product from others and is intended to invite you to buy it.

In the food industry, however, strict legal rules and regulations apply, the focus is on safety - that of the food and therefore also that of your health. The packaging primarily fulfills a protective and hygienic function. ( see box at the end of the article )

But – and we are strongly committed to this – the environment and nature also need to be protected in the area of ​​packaging. The materials used are now increasingly recyclable (within the framework of the food law) or are made from recycled raw materials. What sounds good usually just means “less harmful to the environment”. Even the classic recycling process still creates waste and environmental pollution. Let’s look at it using cardboard packaging as an example.

Classic recycling or “as little environmentally harmful as possible”

Paper and cardboard are made from the raw material wood. cellulose produced. Recycled waste paper and cardboard are becoming increasingly important in production. The problem is that the material to be recycled is printed or glued. And so up to 30% of the substances remain as – often toxic – non-recyclable slag. This waste ends up in landfills or incinerators. Is recycling good? Yes. But is it good enough? Unfortunately no.

The example above shows how sustainability has been defined so far: its goal can be roughly described as “as little environmentally harmful as possible”. That's not good enough for us, which is why we rely on a revolutionary, new and complete way of thinking.

100% ecology: from origin to origin

Our cardboard packaging is Cradle to Cradle® certified (C2C) and is an essential part of our zero waste concept . C2C as a holistic approach - inspired by nature - can be described as the supreme discipline of the ecological circular economy and translated means from cradle to cradle or, more appropriately, from origin to origin.

All production and recycling processes and all resources are selected so that no harmful waste or damage is created in the first place, but everything fits 100% into the biological (or technical) cycle. So it is not another attempt to produce as little environmentally harmful as possible, but rather, the goal is an endless cycle without any loss of value and thus resource-saving, energy-neutral and even socially fair production. ( See also: One Standard & Five Criteria from Cradle to Cradle )

Swiss pioneer from Emmental as a partner

For our cardboard packaging, we have a Swiss pioneer for sustainability as a partner: Vogeli AG. The family business from the Emmental is the first printing company in the world to have been producing with Cradle to Cradle Certified™ GOLD status since 2019 and follows the five central criteria of the seal of quality in an exemplary manner.

Food Packaging: Rules and Regulations
The law requires packaging and focuses on food safety. For example, food must be protected from harmful environmental influences such as moisture, light or even air in order to prevent the contents from changing, becoming dirty or even spoiling. Ultimately, the food should last as long as possible without any changes in flavor, loss of vitamins or contamination.
Furthermore, there is a statutory labeling and information requirement for foodstuffs ( Food Act, LMG SR 817.0 ). Information such as origin, ingredients, shelf life and nutrients must be shared with consumers and therefore printed on the packaging, for example.
And the food packaging itself - in the law it is classified as a food consumer item ( LGV SR 817.02 ) - must under no circumstances release harmful substances into the contents and consequently into the human body. Which materials and objects may come into contact with food is also regulated and is subject to strict requirements (see Consumer Goods Ordinance SR 817.023.21 ).

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