Part of our ambition to enable a stronger pipeline for sustainable solutions is also to build the prerequisites necessary to meet our customers’ needs for better packaging.
In line with the AAK Group Environmental Policy, we have a commitment to respect and strive to implement more environment-friendly packaging. Our Foodservice organization has been improving our portfolio of better packaging solutions.
Plastic is an important consideration in the sustainability goals and targets of our customers, where many have developed plastic packaging strategies to improve their environmental footprint. AAK is driving improvements together with our suppliers across our Foodservice operation to meet these requirements as we supply a vast range of plastic packaging across our product range.
During 2020, our strategic approach was defined for Foodservice, using the three environmental R’s – Recycle, Reduce, and Reuse – combined with a traffic light categorization system to identify key initiatives. A situational analysis was carried out to understand our plastic packaging formats and how they relate to the three environmental R’s.
Based on the situational analysis, we identified strategic objectives and started working towards better alternatives.
The traffic light categorization
A recycle, reduce and reuse approach
We work closely with suppliers to gain an understanding of where and how we can improve our packaging in line with our traffic light categorization.
Since 2020, we have removed all red indexed problematic plastics by changing our black plastics to different colored plastics, ensuring they become 100 percent recyclable.
We aim to move amber-indexed problematic plastics (complex and multi-layered polymers) to recyclable solutions (single polymers) where possible. During 2021, we identified single polymer solutions for all complex and multi-layered plastic formats, and action plans to bring these solutions to the market are underway.
We also work with suppliers to identify packaging formats where we can reduce plastic content by the end of 2022 and bring plastic reduction formats to market throughout 2022 and 2023.
Our aim is to have moved all packaging under “Recycle” in the traffic light categorization from amber to green by the end of 2022, introduce recycled content where it is safe to do so, and continue to work on plastic reduction across our packaging formats.
Our journey to making better packaging happen has begun. As technology in materials and packaging solutions advance, we will continue to find alternatives, drive better packaging, and enable solutions that are better for our customers and our planet.