Responsibility is vital for the environment

A healthy environment is an essential element of sustainable development. This goes beyond individual companies and so HARIBO wants to play its part.

Blue electric car with HARIBO branding at charging station
Blue electric car with HARIBO branding at charging station

Environmental and climate challenges are growing. A healthy environment is also vital for sustainable development. Consequently, HARIBO takes its responsibility for the environment very seriously.

For us, it primarily concerns packaging. How should we obtain our packaging in order to guarantee the optimal quality of our products? What food safety requirements do we need to meet? How can we achieve this with the most efficient-possible use of resources? How can we further improve the recyclability of our packaging materials? Plus, Are there any alternatives in terms of materials or technologies?

Packaging – just the right amount of protection and materials

Packaging for safety and security

The most important thing that food packaging has to do is to protect its contents. There are strict legal requirements for this (for instance Regulation (EC) No. 1935/2004 in the EU). The contents of the packaging must be reliably protected against contamination and spoiling. The packaging also improves the transport options and enables longer storage – without impacting on quality. It therefore helps to reduce food wastage. And this is important because it generally takes many more resources to produce food products than it does to manufacture their packaging.

Packaging at HARIBO

At HARIBO we pay great attention to our packaging. We generally use monomaterial packaging, made solely from polypropylene (PP). This plastic is generally easy to recycle – provided that appropriate disposal structures and processes are available and used. Composite materials, which are harder to recycle, and multiple packaging are the absolute exception at HARIBO. Currently, HARIBO product packaging is more than 90% recyclable – which is certified by the renowned Institute cyclos-HTP.

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO)

Australian Packaging Covenant Organisation (APCO) is a co-regulatory not-for-profit organisation leading the development of a circular economy for packaging in Australia. APCO's vision is a packaging value chain that collaborates to keep packaging materials out of landfill and retains the maximum value of the materials, energy and labour within the local economy.
Each year, APCO Brand Owner Members are required to submit an APCO Annual Report and an APCO Action Plan. This document is the Annual Report and Action Plan output for the organisation listed above. This document provides the overall performance level of the organisation, as well as any commitments they have made to work towards on their packaging sustainability journey. This document may also include additional information provided by the Member in their report.

The chart below indicates the overall performance level of this organisation listed above in the 2023 APCO Annual Report. The organisation's reporting period was January, 2022 - December, 2022.

Overall Performance for: Leading

For more details, please find the whole report here.

Packaging and recycling

The recovery of raw materials used to ensure closed material cycles is one of the central factors in minimising resource consumption – and thus also saving considerable energy. This circular principle is based on two things:

  • a functional waste management system (such as in Germany)
  • the recyclable materials, such as our product packaging, must also reach the disposal contractor; and be presorted so that they can be kept separate from one another and entered into the correct recycling process.

The quality of recovered raw materials (known as recyclates) as starting materials is improving all the time; in the strictly regulated area of food packaging, however, it is now reaching its limit. This applies, for example, to contamination to be avoided during the recycling process – efficient separation of materials by the disposal company is essential to ensure the use of recyclates in food packaging.

A major challenge for recycling is the inadequate disposal structures still in place today in many countries around the world. Without these types of structures, recyclable packaging materials come to nothing.

Improvements of our packaging

We are constantly striving to improve our packaging. We follow three approaches in particular:

  • Reduced packaging
  • Further improvements in recyclability (known as design for recycling)
  • Alternative materials

The extent to which packaging made from paper or bio-plastics could represent an alternative varies just as much as bio-based, biodegradable or compostable plastics as a whole. Even environmental organisations have come to the conclusion that the environmental impact of these packaging materials – based on the current state of science and technology – is generally no lower than that of petroleum-based packaging materials when viewed from an overall environmental perspective.

However, we will actively pursue technological developments in this area, continuously review potential applications and test them if the prospects of success look good.

National Plastics Recycling Scheme Australia (NPRS)

The National Plastics Recycling Scheme is an industry-backed project, designed to remove soft plastics from Australia’s waste stream and recycle more of this vital material.
To date, it has already received strong support from businesses and
retailers, recently completing a successful trial of over 7,000 households across six council areas. The next step is further pilots with more households from late 2023.

As a member of the NPRS it means we are committed to being part of the solution, to enable households to collect soft plastics and recycle them using the kerbside bin into new, food-grade plastic packaging, creating a new circular system.
Businesses who sign up will be at the forefront of recycling efforts globally and will help close the loop on soft plastics by creating the system to transform soft plastics back into food-grade packaging.
Why businesses like yours need to sign up:

1. NPRS is designed to offer a long-term solution to soft plastic recycling in Australia.

2. It is the right thing to do - as a contributor to the soft plastic problem, we need to be part of the solution. This is an opportunity for businesses to lead in doing something our consumers, the community and governments expect.

3. The NPRS is an industry-led scheme where the companies putting soft plastics into the marketplace are taking the lead and providing a real solution.

The scheme has shown that brands and retailers can deliver effective
industry-led product stewardship schemes at a quicker pace than
government regulation. The time is now.