Sustainable packaging: for less waste and more responsibility

Europe generates some 190 kilos of packaging waste per person annually. Single-use packaging is especially harmful. To protect the environment and their own finances in the long term, restaurateurs should use sustainable packaging. METRO has long since declared war on packaging waste and has set ambitious goals for 2030.

Sustainable packaging: for less waste and more responsibility
Since 2018 METRO has been working on sustainable packaging solutions in its own brand sector and has cut out over 3,800 tonnes of plastic in the last five years.
Sustainable packaging

What´s it all about?

  • METRO’s three ‘Rs’ strategy for sustainable packaging solutions
  • Why getting a handle on sustainable packaging is worthwhile for restaurateurs
  • The goals METRO has set itself to cut out even more packaging waste by 2030

Products like yoghurt, pasta and sauces need packaging to protect the contents and make products transportable and storable. But all newly produced packaging must also be disposed of. In 2021 alone, 84 million tonnes of packaging waste was generated in Europe, of which only around 64% has been recycled. But this is due to end soon. In April 2024, the European Parliament adopted regulations aimed at reducing packaging in the EU, promoting reuse and recycling, and that ban certain types of single-use packaging made of plastic entirely from 2030 onwards. METRO is also taking measures to reduce packaging waste significantly and is relying more heavily on sustainable packaging.

The three ‘Rs’ for sustainable packaging

Since 2018 METRO has been working on sustainable packaging solutions in its own brand sector and has cut out over 3,800 tonnes of plastic in the last five years. ‘Our strategy focuses on three principles: reduce, renew, recycle (‘3 Rs’),’ explains Ana Rescek from the Global Own Brand Packaging Department. ‘This means that we try to reduce plastic in all packaging and replace it with recycled material or sustainable raw materials like certified cardboard or wood.’

Reducing costs and strengthening customer retention

Restaurateurs use packaging every day to transport and store food safely. By selecting sustainable packaging solutions, they can not only minimise their environmental footprint and protect the environment but also save on costs in the long term. This is because sustainable packaging usually consists of less material and therefore takes up less space. It is also easier to recycle and to dispose of, which in turn saves time and money. Furthermore, restaurateurs with environmentally-friendly packaging can respond to growing consumer demand for ecologically responsible products, thereby promoting long-term customer retention. Studies show that around 78% of consumers think sustainable packaging is very important.

METRO boosting sustainability by 2030

  • Reducing: METRO is aiming to cut out a total of 10,000 tonnes of plastic in its own brand packaging to minimise its environmental impact.
  • Recycling: METRO intends to increase the proportion of recycled plastic in packaging by 30% to close the circle and reduce dependence on new raw materials.
  • Switching out: METRO is planning to protect people and the environment from harmful chemicals by using packaging that is completely free from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and expanded polystyrene (EPS).
  • Promoting recyclability: With 100% recyclable, reusable or home-compostable own brand packaging, METRO aims to promote a sustainable circular economy and minimise its environmental footprint.
  • Using sustainable materials: METRO relies on sustainable materials like FSC®-/PEFC-certified or recycled paper, cardboard and wood packaging to support sustainable forestry and protect forests.

These goals are important to METRO because they will help us to minimize plastic use, promote recyclability, and rely on sustainable materials for a more sustainable future and business.   

Gizem Narin, METRO Global Own Brand Packaging department

Making sustainability easy with METRO

METRO’s interactive platform ‘My Sustainable Restaurant’ supports restaurateurs on their path to greater sustainability. With useful tips and detailed instructions, the digital guidelines help restaurateurs not only to reduce their environmental footprint but also to lower their costs with sustainable innovations and strengthen customer loyalty.
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