Danone has announced a series of new commitments and actions to ensure its packaging will become 100% circular, and to accelerate the global transition towards a circular economy of packaging. This includes (1) initiatives to improve product design and develop alternative delivery and reuse models, (2) investments to develop effective, efficient and inclusive systems for increased collection and recycling, to boost recycling and (3) actions to preserve natural resources by reintegrating recycled materials into packaging and developing use of renewable materials.
Danone will accelerate transition towards circular economy of packaging in three ways.
Packaging designed for circularity
Danone will ensure that all its packaging is designed to be 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable by 2025. Moreover, the company will develop alternative delivery models or new reuse models where relevant and eliminate problematic or unnecessary plastic packaging.
Already, 86% of the company’s packaging is recyclable, reusable or compostable, and 50% of its water volumes are sold in reusable jugs. At evian, where its bottles are already 100% recyclable, Danone has piloted an innovation to eliminate non-recyclable shrink film for multipacks using specially designed adhesive and tape handles.
Danone will also launch alternatives to plastic packaging or single-use packaging in all its major water markets by 2025; and it is assessing alternatives to plastic straws through a pilot program to be launched in 2019, by Danone’s AQUA brand in Indonesia.
Reused, recycled and composted in practice
to make its packaging fully circular, Danone will help meet, or go beyond, the collection targets set by regulators, such as the minimum 90% collection target for beverage bottles expected to be set in the EU for 2025. To do this, the company will support the most effective publicly organized collection and recycling systems, including Extended Producer Responsibility and Deposit Return Scheme systems, when relevant.
The company says it will also invest in private initiatives that strengthen circular infrastructure, especially in countries where formal systems are absent or in development, or where there is a high risk of leakage into the environment. By 2025, Danone will have initiated or supported collection and recycling initiatives in every one of its top 20 markets (representing around 90% of sales).
Its AQUA brand has pledged to recover more plastic than it uses in Indonesia, including through interception of marine littering. Danone has invested $5.25 million in the Closed Loop Fund, a voluntary private initiative that develops large-scale recycling infrastructure and sustainable manufacturing technologies in the United States.
Preservation of natural resources
Today, Danone uses 14% of recycled PET on average in its water and other beverage bottles; by 2025, the company will increase this amount to 50%. Danone’s evian brand already contains 30% recycled plastic (rPET) on average, and intends to reach 100% by 2025. The company recently launched its first 100% recycled PET bottle with the Lanjaron Red natural mineral water brand in Spain and it will launch additional 100% recycled PET bottles, reaching all major water markets by 2021.
Danone will also develop the use of renewable, bio-based materials. The company has a joint project with Nestle, PepsiCo and Origin Materials to bring the first 75% bio-based bottle to commercial scale by 2021, aiming to launch 100% bio-based bottles by 2025.