THE Ferrero Group has said progress is being made on its packaging goals, as a raft of new sustainable measures are announced.
The Italian firm – which is behind products such as Nutella, Kinder Bueno and Ferrero Rocher – said it is on track to meet its commitment of making all of its packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.
As part of the journey towards the goal, it has announced new global partnerships with HolyGrail 2.0 and the Consumer Goods Forum (CGF), as well as ‘significant’ brand projects – including the introduction of new thinner Kinder Bueno packaging material.
The link up with the CGF sees the firm sign up to its plastic waste coalition’s golden design rules, which aim to remove ‘problematic’ elements that prohibit recycling from packaging, whilst also reducing plastic overwraps, and increasing on-pack recycling instructions.
Ferrero Group said that joining HolyGrail 2.0 – which is facilitated by AIM, the European Brands Association – will demonstrate its commitment to innovation in plastic packaging sorting, as well as investing in pilot projects to improve current sorting technology gaps. The initiative aims to prove the viability of digital watermarking technologies for accurate waste sorting – resulting in more efficient and higher-quality recycling.
It added that it recognises the opportunity to put in place sorting for a dedicated stream of food packaging plastics that will, in turn, generate recycled materials to be reused in line with circular economy best practices.
Further to this is the introduction of new thinner flexible packaging across products, such as Kinder Bueno, starting from 2022 – leading to an initial annual reduction of approximately 550 tonnes of materials, saving around 1,450 tonnes of CO2 compared to the previous packaging.
It was developed in ‘close collaboration’ with ‘leading’ edge upstream suppliers, with the firm saying it delivers a thickness reduction of approximately 20% compared to standard films.
An Italy-based pilot of new paper-based external packaging for its bakery range will also be undertaken. It features an innovative method of wrapping products using paper film, which is suitable for recycling in the country. If successful, the firm said that it will be rolled out across its entire portfolio of bakery products.
It added that it is an ‘important’ step in its overall plastic reduction ambition, with a science-based approach being adopted to design and test the new paper-based packaging using the Aticela evaluation method – which it said will result in an overall weight reduction of 80% versus the previous plastic film used.
Fabio Mora, global packaging director of the Ferrero Group, said, “In 2019, we committed to making all of our packaging reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025 and I’m proud to see that we have already made some significant progress on our journey. Over the last few months, we partnered with over 85 companies on the digital watermarks project HolyGrail 2.0, a transformative programme testing how digital technology can enable better sorting and higher-quality recycling for packaging.
“Additionally, we are proud to have signed the CGF’s new golden design rules as another commitment to assess and redesign the critical elements of packaging. The new thinner Kinder Bueno packaging material and paper-based Kinder bakery trial further demonstrate our ambition to accelerate sustainable innovation and to drive circular solutions. We look forward to sharing further updates on our progress soon.”