Schouten is working on it
More sustainable packaging choices
With our delicious plant-based products, we tempt consumers worldwide to make more sustainable choices. We not only produce our meat and fish substitutes in the most sustainable way possible but also make clearer, greener choices in the choice of packaging and packaging materials.
We stand behind the sustainability agreements
Schouten Europe believes that we must all do something to combat global warming and reduce CO2 emissions. We support initiatives and agreements that promote more sustainable choices in packaging materials.
By 2025, the supermarket industry wants to have achieved the following goals:
- 20% less packaging material in supermarkets
- 95% of the packaging material is recyclable
- At least 50% of plastics are rPET (recycled PET).
- All cardboard and paper are 100% FSC and PEFC certified.
- All packaging (100%) features disposable or recycling logos.
The EU made the following longer-term goals:
- By 2025: unusual plastics are phased out, single-use plastics are banned, and packaging materials are halved.
- By 2030: all plastics are recyclable, and 50% of plastic packaging is recycled.
- By 2040: the amount of plastic packaging has been halved.
Schouten Europe endorses the following agreements within the FNLI:
The FNLI (Dutch food industry federation) wants to market only sustainable and recyclable food packaging by 2025.
We can make a difference with more sustainable packaging
At Schouten Europe, we are already making more sustainable choices in cardboard and paper.
Our packaging with cardboard:
- We use only freezer boxes without PE coating. They are thus plastic-free.
Many boxes have a PE coating inside in order to keep the cardboard more watertight and grease-free.
- The cardboard and paper we use are 100% FSC certified.
Because cardboard and paper are made from wood fibres, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) sets strict requirements for sustainable and social forest management. FSC is an international quality mark supporting governments, companies, and environmental organisations worldwide.
- We opt for outer cartons with a maximum percentage of recycled cardboard.
For our packaging with plastics:
- We use only rPET (recycled PET) trays.
Of all the types of recycled plastics, only rPET may be used to pack food. Recycling other plastics is difficult because of the different types of plastics. Moreover, the recycling options for other types of plastics are often limited. Either the technology is not yet available, or there simply appears to be no demand for the recycled plastic.
- We avoid multi-layer materials.
Because multi-layer plastics consist of different plastics, they are difficult to recycle. Although methods are being developed for separating these multi-layer plastics with solvents, they are not yet readily available. For now, only transparent, unprinted plastics made of mono-material (PP and PET) can be optimally reused.
- Where possible, we opt for plastic with a lower weight.
Less plastic means less environmental impact.
- We do not use paper for our labels – only plastics.
That’s because plastic packaging with paper labels is difficult to recycle. Research is currently being carried out on paper labels with water-soluble adhesives. These should make it possible for the labels to be washed off during recycling so that that paper can be used again.
- We do not use bioplastics.
Bioplastics are made from potatoes, maize, and cane sugar, among other things. However, the production of bioplastics requires fertilisers, pesticides and agricultural land. These bioplastics also do not break down on a compost heap or the side of the road. Bioplastics are not allowed in the green bin – this requires a separate recycling process that is not yet available.
- We do not use biodegradable plastics.
Biodegradable or compostable plastics are made from petroleum or biological materials. They are almost non-degradable under natural conditions. Degradation requires UV, moisture, or bacteria.
- We do not have composite packaging with both cardboard and plastics.
We keep cardboard and plastic separate; this makes recycling easier.
Small steps forward
As far as the recycling of packaging is concerned, there is still a long way to go – both in the Netherlands and internationally:
- The Netherlands recycles less than 50% of all plastic packaging material on the market.
- In the European Union, this recycling rate is even lower.
- And there is much more ground to be gained worldwide: 14% is collected separately, and only 5% is recycled.
In any case, Schouten aims to improve recycling options with more sustainable packaging choices. This will also helps us to keep our ecological footprint as small as possible.