Helsinki / FI. (fg) Fazer Group is the first in Finland to introduce food packaging made of 100 percent recycled plastic. The renewal of the cake roll packaging means that up to 1.2 million recycled bottles get a new life every year. Thanks to the change, the company will use 24,000 kilogrammes less new plastic every year. The packaging renewal is part of Fazer’s programme for responsible packaging.
Fazer ceases the use of new plastic in its cake roll packaging and is the first in Finland to implement food packaging made of 100 percent recycled plastic.
From now on, packaging made of recycled plastic bottles will be used for Auringonpaiste, Marianne, Mansikkapaikka, Ihana hetki, Illan hehku and Taikayö products. So far, 100 percent recycled plastic has been used in Finland only for producing bottles for the beverage industry and parts for other food packaging.
«We give a new life to 1.2 million bottles each year by reusing them in our cake packaging. It’s the first time we’ve used plastic obtained exclusively from recycled bottles in our packaging. Recycled plastic is a little more expensive than new plastic, but we also want to move in a more ecological direction in this respect. This packaging renewal is a significant step for us – we’re a forerunner and lead the way in the entire food industry sector, both in Finland and internationally,» says Piia Soininen-Tengvall, Fazer Group’s Packaging Development Director.
The new cake roll packaging is made of rPET plastic, i.e. recycled polyethylene terephthalate, obtained from returnable bottles after different kinds of separation, grinding, washing, and quality assurance processes. This process takes less energy than producing brand new plastic. Approximately two half-litre recycled bottles are used to produce one cake package, and no other material is required.
«The packaging has often been considered a necessary evil; a useless object that remains after the consumer has enjoyed the product itself. However, without the package, the food wouldn’t keep as well, and that would generate a lot more food waste.»
Even though the material has changed, the cake roll packaging’s plastic box looks the same as before. An image of a bottle on the packaging label is what shows it is a new material. It states that the packaging material is 100 percent recycled plastic which can be disposed of in the plastic recycling bin. At the beginning of the launch, the packaging will also have a sticker on it with the text: «Previously, I was a beverage bottle; now I’m a cake box.» The new packaging will be in stores from 25 October.
The reduction in the use of plastic is equivalent to more than 52 million bread bags
Fazer started a programme for responsible packaging in 2018, and thanks to this, the amount of plastic packaging that has been cut down at Fazer Bakery is the equivalent of more than 52 million bread bags.
«During the programme, we’ve gone through every Fazer Bakery product and analysed the packaging piece by piece. We’ve reduced the plastic and made it thinner whenever possible. In three years, we’ve cut down on the amount of plastic by 131,000 kilograms,» says Soininen-Tengvall.
Thanks to the development work, 99 percent of the packaging can currently be sorted for recycling.
«I hope we can produce bread bags with recycled plastic in the future. A good example is the system developed for returning bottles, which ensures safe use of the recycled material. There are pilot studies for chemical recycling in other countries. If such recycling becomes reality, it would also enable the legal use of recycled plastic in the production of bread bags,» says Soininen-Tengvall.
«We encourage everybody to sort the packaging for recycling. The Fazer Bakery packaging contains easy-to-understand recycling instructions in Finnish and Swedish. We’re increasing the use of LDPE plastic, which has a good recycling value, to ensure our bread bags can be utilised in the best possible way during recycling.»
Fazer Bakery Finland
Fazer is the bakery industry market leader in Finland. Fazer’s large bakeries are located in Vantaa, Lahti and Lappeenranta, Finland. The company has 116 in-store bakeries within grocery shops where artisanal bakers make bread by hand in the shop premises using Finnish flour. In Finland, Fazer Bakeries employs approximately 1,600 people. In the manufacturing of the bakery products, approximately 92 percent of the ingredients are Finnish.
Fazer, The Food Experience Company, enables people to enjoy the best moments of their day. In 1891, the young Karl Fazer opened his first café with a mission to make food with a purpose – and a passion to create moments of joy for all the people around him. Shaping the next tastes, traditions and food experiences, Fazer’s vision is Towards Perfect Days. Fazer wants people to experience the Northern Magic it creates and builds on its strong heritage, consumer first approach and innovations to create the sustainable food solutions of the future. The Group focuses on fast-moving consumer goods, operates in eight countries and exports to around 40 countries. In 2020, Fazer Group had net sales of 1.1 billion EUR and almost 8,500 employees. Fazer’s operations comply with ethical principles that are based on the Group’s values and the UN Global Compact.