Good practice

Sustainable packaging at Swiss mega-retailer

Sustainable packaging at Swiss mega-retailer
©kucherav, image #125561404, 2017, source: Fotolia.com
Resources:
Materials, Waste
Sector:
Wholesale and retail
Cost:
High cost
Annual saving:
10 - 25%
Payback time:
1 - 2 Year(s)
Premises and operation areas:
Product and design, Supply operations, Waste and recycling
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Intermediate

Avoid, reduce, enhance...

  • 6.8 % less packaging on 250 best-selling products
  • Saving 1 360 tonnes of material and using 1 300 tonnes of recyclables 

Migros is Switzerland's largest retailer and supermarket chain. In recent years, as part of an environmental effort, it has reassessed its packaging in line with the principle of 'avoid, recuce and enhance'. 

Part of Migros efficiency drive is to develop packaging and products in parallel, taking into account the whole life cycle of the product and its packaging. 

Examples of changes to its packaging include replacing a thick plastic cover on its flutes with a thin-film, making the overall weight four times lighter. Jam jars now use thinner glass, reducing weight and transport costs (financial and environmental) without making them more fragile. The changes to the jam packaging alone saves around 118 tonnes of glass each year. 

Key results

In the past few years, Migros has reduced the environmental burden of packaging for its 250 best-selling products by 6.8 %. Overall, Migros was able to save 1 360 tonnes of material within two years and use about 1 300 tonnes of recyclables, as well as 3 780 tonnes of FSC cardboard, which is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Testimonials:

"Migros plans to ecologically improve at least one packaging per quarter and range. Initial success was achieved with PET packaging. Aproz, the drinks manufacturer, used approx. 1 600 tonnes of recycled PET materials (RPET). Two-thirds of a PET mineral water bottle now consist of recycled material. By using recycled materials in various cleaning agents and Migros ice-tea bottles, consumption of new plastic materials was also reduced by about 12 tonnes per year. Glass packaging also became more sustainable: by cutting back on material, Migros reduced the packaging weight of Favorit and Léger jam by an annual total of some 120 tonnes. Less transport packaging for Mifloc mashed potatoes yielded a saving of 32 tonnes of cardboard per year. All these measures affected neither the function nor the appearance of the packaging. But they make all the difference to the environment." - Migros Annual Report

 

Want to know if relevant support is offered in your country?