We aim to make our packaging 100% circular
At Danone, we want to offer nutritious, high-quality food and drinks in packaging that is 100% circular, keeping materials in use and out of nature.
Packaging is fundamental to our ability to provide consumers around the world with food and drink – but we recognise that this cannot come at the environment's expense. As a company committed to protecting and nourishing the health of the planet and people, we want to play our part in accelerating the transition from a linear to a circular economy of packaging.
We aim to make our packaging 100% circular. This means eliminating the packaging we don’t need; innovating so all the packaging we do need is designed to be safely reused, recycled or composted; and ensuring the material we produce stays in the economy and never becomes waste or pollution.
PACKAGING DESIGNED FOR CIRCULARITY
Our goal for 2025 is for every piece of packaging—from bottles to yogurt pots—to be reusable, recyclable, or compostable.
Danone in the UK was a founding signatory of the UK Plastics Pact Initiative. This means we have committed to 100% recyclable, reusable or compostable packaging by 2025. New innovative packaging solutions are being developed across our range of Waters, Essential Dairy and Plant-based products and Specialised Nutrition brands.
Circular packaging in the UK
We're building a circular economy for our packaging by investing in new technologies and processes. We evaluate the impact of packaging and how to optimise recycling and reuse. So, in the UK, while the lightweight and ‘snappable’ properties of polystyrene (PS) make it a good material for food packaging, we recognise that PS is not widely recycled. Our response is to change our yogurt pots, moving from PS to plastic.
Working alongside our global packaging teams and local partners we investigated, trialled and invested in new technologies to produce our new yogurt pots from plastic. The rigid clear plastic pots are fully recyclable, and importantly allow us to include recycled plastic content into the pots in the future. Our recently launched Danone brand and existing Oykos brand were the first to transition into recyclable plastic pots, with the rest of our portfolio of yogurt pots to follow. Going forward, all new products will be in recyclable pots.
RECYCLED, REUSED, OR COMPOSTED IN PRACTICE
Our global goal for 2025 is to have recycling or collection initiatives in every one of our top 20 markets, representing around 90% of sales.
Redesigning packaging for circularity won’t do much good, if the waste management systems aren’t in place to ensure it is recycled, reused or composted. That’s why we are committed to help co-build effective and inclusive systems for collection, reuse and recycling.
We need to work collaboratively with industry and government. So, we are actively engaged in encouraging legislative changes to improve the recycling infrastructure across the UK and Ireland.
In the UK
We are members of OPRL (the On Pack Recycling label) scheme, rolling out clear recycling labels across all our products to help consumers correctly dispose of their packaging.
In 2020, Danone was a primary donor to Recycle Week, a consumer-facing campaign to galvanise recycling.
Our Volvic and evian brands supported sustainability agency Hubbub’s innovative on-the-go recycling trial, #LeedsbyExample, which saw recycling rates more than double in Leeds. The brands also supported the next phase of the #intheloop recycling blueprint in Swansea and Edinburgh. Learn more here.
In 2019, evian worked with the All England Lawn Tennis Club to implement a range of initiatives to encourage recycling at The Championships, Wimbledon. This was part of a pilot of circularity aimed at developing solutions to plastic waste at sports events. Learn more about our recycling at Wimbledon.
Central and local brand teams are collaborating with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation in their effort to transition our brands toward a circular economy. Learn more here
Pouches are made from a mix of materials. Since they need to be recycled in a special way, Danone yogurt is partnering with TerraCycle® and Ella’s Kitchen to transform pouches into new products, generating funds for local charities and schools. The Danone brand also contributed to innovative reuse trial Loop, producing yogurts in glass jars that can be delivered, emptied and returned to Danone for reuse.
PRESERVATION OF NATURAL RESOURCES
Our goal for 2025 is to drastically expand the amount of recycled and bio-plastic used in our packaging. By 2025 in the UK, we will reach 30% recycled material on average in our plastic packaging.
Transitioning to a circular economy means seeking to no longer use packaging from finite resources. This helps preserve natural resources and keep existing materials in use and out of nature.
To reduce the need for newly created material, we are working to increase recycled content. We are also developing renewable materials that further decouple packaging from natural resource use.
In the UK
In 2019, evian introduced the UK's first 100% recycled plastic bottles at The Championships, Wimbledon replacing our iconic logo with ‘I Recycle’. In 2020 our top selling evian bottles were made from 100% recycled plastic and our logo was adapted to ‘bottles made from bottles’ to promote the circular economy.
Our new range of yogurt pots, launched under our company name Danone in January 2020, are made from plastic with 30% recycled content.