A closed-loop system for recycled plastic bottles saves materials and CO2

Investment in the plastics recycling process by Schwarz Produktion has resulted in the first bottle-to-bottle closed-loop system, reducing raw material use and carbon emissions.

Taking action to ‘REset Plastic’

The Schwarz Group (Lidl and Kaufland) has committed to reducing plastic consumption by 2025 by 20 percent, making 100 percent of its own-brand packaging maximally recyclable and using an average of 25 percent recycled material in own-brand plastic packaging. The measures are part of REset Plastic, the Schwarz Group’s international plastics strategy. It is a holistic approach that includes five fields of action: reduce, redesign, recycle, remove, research.

The Schwarz Produktion, which incorporates the production plants of the Schwarz Group, is contributing to the achievement of these sustainability goals, with the development and rollout of a drinks bottle made from 100% recycled plastic.

Positive climate benefits from recycled PET

Since June 2021, all disposable PET deposit bottles produced by Schwarz Produktion for Lidl and Kaufland own-brand products in Germany are made of 100 percent recycled plastic (rPET), excluding the cap and label. Every single new bottle is produced entirely from old bottles and is particularly resource-friendly due to its low weight.

Schwarz Produktion achieved this major development step in PET recycling by investing heavily in the recycling loop, developing some of its own solutions, and building up expertise over many years.

By increasing the use of rPET to 100 percent for non-refillable PET bottles, the Schwarz Group will save a total of 48,000 tons of new plastic and 79,000 tons of CO2 in 2021 – compared to PET bottles without recyclate*.

*Calculation based on a predicted annual volume and assumed shift from 100 percent virgin to 100 percent recycled material.

Bottle-to-bottle closed-loop recycling

The unique closed-loop cycle for PET bottles is based on the German one-way deposit system that has been in place for over a decade. As part of the REset Plastic strategy, all soft drink and mineral water bottles returned to a Lidl deposit machine are reprocessed into new PET bottles at the three plastics and recycling plants of Schwarz Produktion. The entire recycling cycle is therefore contained in one carefully managed ecosystem. The Schwarz Group is the first in the market to implement all steps of this bottle-to-bottle recycling through its own closed-loop process.

Explore further

REset Plastic

Schwarz Produktion – rethinking cycles (German language)