Customers shopping at the roughly 5,800 REWE and PENNY stores throughout Germany will find that several varieties of shower gel, shower cream, liquid soap, and cream soap in the REWE Group’s private label “today” line are now being packaged using 100 percent recycled materials. The “Gelber Sack” (yellow sack), the bag into which Germans sort their recyclable plastic and metal waste, is the source for 20 percent of the material in this new packaging. Using plastic from the Gelber Sack allows it to remain in a closed loop which saves natural resources and protects the environment. Next to recycled paper, recycled plastic is one of the most important recycled materials in the REWE Group’s packaging strategy. At REWE and PENNY, using recycled plastic materials just for private-label and service packaging could effectively cut the use of around 6,400 tonnes of primary plastics each year.
As a founding member of the Recyclat Initiative, the REWE Group and its partners from various industries are campaigning for effective recycling and advocating for value chains which align with the principle of the circular economy. The shared aim is to develop a sustainable materials cycle and to increase the use of the recyclable materials sourced from the Gelber Sack. Since 2017, REWE and PENNY have been steadily making the switch to 100 percent recycled packaging for washing and cleaning products. Recyclable material collected in the Gelber Sack provides 20 percent of the materials used to create packaging for these products. The REWE Group is committed to continuing its effort to reduce the ecological effects of its packaging and to support the circular economy of the materials used.
Expediting a closed loop is also fundamental to the REWE Group’s efforts in the area of single-use PET. For quite some time, the bottles for many private-label drinks have been produced using a considerable amount of recycled PET which is known as rPET. With the introduction of water bottles made from 100 percent recycled plastic at the start of the year, REWE and PENNY became the first food retailers to do so for private-label drinks. The REWE Group is already successfully reducing packaging that uses primary plastics by opting for recycled plastics and rPET material for insulated carrier bags, convenience food packaging (REWE), gourmet food packaging (PENNY), rubbish bags (REWE), and tins of paint (toom Baumarkt DIY store).