Recycling

Can you see the difference between these containers?

The ice cream on the left is in a conventional plastic cup and the one on the right in a new one made of pure polypropylene. You don’t understand? We will explain just what a major impact this seemingly small difference can make.

From
Nina Huber
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What we do

What’s new about the packaging?

The packaging of Crème d’Or ice cream is no longer made of various plastics. Instead, it is made of pure polypropylene and has no dyes. The cup, which can be picked up in the Migros plastic collection bag, for example, can be recycled.

So it wasn’t possible to recycle the cup up to now?

No. Up until now, it was made of polystyrene and the label was made of polypropylene. It was not possible to effectively separate it from the cup, which made it impossible to recycle the cup. Polypropylene is better for the environment than polystyrene, in part because it can be produced with thin layers. The packaging was designed narrower and the lid thinner. This can help save material.

How can the new cup be recycled?

Unlike PET beverage bottles, which can be treated in a very well-established mechanical recycling process and made into new beverage bottles again, the same method is not yet possible for polypropylene packaging. However, Delica’s packaging development team has now successfully paved the way for chemical recycling. This process converts the plastic back into its chemical building blocks. These basic building blocks are used to produce plastic again, which is then used to make new packaging. Chemical recycling is expensive, but it produces fewer CO2 emissions than incinerating the plastic. And this also saves petroleum, which is needed to produce new plastic.

Does the new packaging already contain recycled plastic?

Yes, the packaging, which has been in the shops since April, already features some chemically recycled plastic. This comes from films used in department stores, i.e. films that were wrapped around pallets, for example. The quantities of polypropylene that have been recovered in the collection bag so far are simply not enough to produce an entire batch of Crème d’Or packaging.

How long did it take to develop the new Crème d’Or packaging?

A good three years. The project started with an extensive market research and material study. The results revealed that customers do not want cardboard packaging used for ice cream. Instead, they prefer a material that remains stable and leakproof, even after the cup has been opened once. It was again important that the popular brand kept its curved shape for better recognition. Several prototypes were developed before the current solution was finalised.