Less waste, less plastic at Dr. Oetker

All our packagings should be recyclable by 2025. Whenever it makes sense and is possible, we also avoid using plastic altogether.

Less waste, less plastic at Dr. Oetker

16.3.2023 Sustainability

Bielefeld, March 2023 – A world without waste - that would not only be good for the air and the oceans. It would also save resources and thus protect the climate. After all, packaging materials consist of valuable resources such as wood and petroleum; the production process requires a lot of energy. That's why at Dr. Oetker, we take care to reduce our packagings to the bare minimum. Our Dr. Oetker Sustainability Charter also states that all our packagings should be recyclable by 2025. Whenever it makes sense and is possible, we also avoid using plastic altogether.

As little material as necessary, as easy to recycle as possible

"We depend on the protective function of our packagings: Only if they are properly packaged, we can guarantee freshness and hygienic safety to our consumers," explains Farina Voss, Executive Manager International Packaging Development at Dr. Oetker. "However, to avoid negative ecological consequences, packagings must be reduced to the bare minimum, reused or recycled." Since recycling systems vary widely around the world, Dr. Oetker has developed clear guidelines, based on international public specifications and recycling options worldwide, on how to develop sustainable packaging worldwide from particularly little, particularly recyclable material. These guidelines define our Dr. Oetker Packaging Handbook, which is binding for all national companies.

Recyclable – what does that mean?

Whether it's pizza boxes, dessert cups or bakery bags, from lids to labels - in the future, it must be possible to recycle all of our packagings in a way they become new packagings, a packaging component or a secondary raw material for other products. We exclude energy recovery, i.e. use as secondary fuel.

Focusing on low-material, recyclable packaging

  • Paper wins: Even today, most of our product packaging is based on paper that can be completely recycled after use. With our "The Good Baker" feel good pizza, in some countries we are already offering a pizza range which’s cardboard for the folding boxes is made of recycled material entirely. Proof of this is provided by the FSC® Recycled label with which the packaging is marked. All other folding cartons already consist of 70 to 80 percent recycled material. We also rely primarily on paper-based material for our transport packaging.
  • Plastic? As recyclable as possible: In addition to product safety and the lowest possible use of materials, recyclability is our top priority when using plastics. Our cups are made primarily of the best recyclable, transparent plastic, as are the films for our pizzas. In addition, we are working on making packaging as light and thin-walled as possible - while maintaining product protection and transportability.
  • Initiatives for sorting and recycling - HolyGrail 2.0 and 4evergreen: As a member of the cross-industry, European Digital Watermarks Initiative HolyGrail 2.0, we support digital watermarks on plastic packaging. This technology helps sorting facilities to detect the type and material that post-consumer packaging is made of, and assign them precisely to individual material streams accordingly. The goal: Achieving higher recycling rates and higher-quality recycling. Promoting the sustainability of fiber-based packaging materials is the goal of 4evergreen, a cross-sector, European alliance of companies that includes Dr. Oetker. Together, we are committed to achieving a recycling rate of 90% for fiber-based packaging by 2030.

Packaging optimized by packaging

We are working on using as little material as possible. By 2025, our packaging should become recyclable. Some current examples:

Lid off for fresh desserts.

Since 2022, we have removed the slip lid from our Löffelglück Range, i.e. cream pudding, semolina pudding and fruit grits, as well as High Protein Pudding. Our LoVE it! fresh products do not have a disposable lid, too.

Less plastic for dessert packagings.

We have reduced the amount of plastic used in packaging for both our powdered desserts and many fresh desserts in the refrigerated section. The outer layer of our powder dessert packaging, such as that of Dr. Oetker Paradies Creme, is now produced with less plastic. Puddings such as the Wölkchen dessert also have thinner-walled cups and are still sufficiently stable to reach our consumers intact.

I’m now recyclable!

The popular four-compartment cups of our decor products are no longer made of polystyrene, i.e. PS, but of polypropylene, i.e. PP, in the UK since 2021. They can therefore be recycled, now. At the same time, we have significantly reduced the weight of the packaging. Soon those cups will also be available in many other countries.

Everyone can make a contribution

In principle, consumers can help us to recycle by disposing of materials separately after use: For example, the sorting plants sort our fresh dessert packaging more reliably if the aluminum lid is completely separated from the cup before disposal in the household. Both can then be placed together in the yellow bag/bin. The cardboard sleeves, on the other hand, belong separately from the cup in the waste paper. To help our consumers recycle our packaging even more, we will be introducing a new label system on our product packaging. This will enable our consumers to see at a glance what material the packaging is made of and how it can be recycled - in relation to the respective market. We will also make this information available on our product websites.

For inquiries:

Katharina Ahnepohl

Media Spokesperson Sustainability

Hannah Strüver

Lead & Media Spokesperson Brand / Product Communication