Solutions for circular packaging within the food sector
More circular packaging flows shall allow for recycling and ensure that food and production waste or damage in transit do not occur.
- Special contract terms
- Packaging food sector
The supplier shall, no later than [contract start or other time determined by the contracting organisation], disclose the measures taken in order to promote more circular packaging and wrapping flows, recycling and reduced waste from virgin materials for the contracted products. These measures must not result in an increase in food and production waste or additional damage in transit.
The measures presented may cover one or more packaging materials at one or more levels of packaging used for packing the product; that is, the primary, secondary and tertiary packaging.
During the contractual period, the supplier shall, upon the request of the contracting organisation, be ready to demonstrate how the special contract term has been fulfilled.
When a supplier accepts the tender, it means that the special contract term will be fulfilled by the date shown in the contract. This can be followed up during the contractual period.
Request information from the supplier regarding measures that have been taken when performing the contract. Check that it is clear as to how these measures result in more circular packaging and wrapping flows or otherwise contribute to a more circular handling of packaging materials without resulting in increased food/production waste or damage in transit. Ensure that the measures taken promote recycling and help to reduce waste from virgin materials. This can be demonstrated, for example, through the use and reuse of returnable containers (SRS trays), fewer levels of packaging, thinner wrapping, choice of filling material or the use of recycled plastic.
During the contractual period, follow-up can also be carried out during, for example, appraisal meetings where the supplier presents its measures for more circular packaging and wrapping flows.
Information about the criterion
This is a functional requirement, which means that it describes what shall be achieved rather than the methods to be used for achieving it. The benefit of this kind of requirement is that it opens the way for different techniques, working methods and products with new solutions for achieving increased resource efficiency. The requirement can lead to the development of new innovations and solutions that the supplier can offer and that result in more circular packaging flows and reduced wastage from packaging and wrapping flows. See further information about setting functional requirements and market analys under Innovation in procurement.
A good dialogue and long-term collaboration with packaging suppliers is required in order to be able to provide long-term circular packaging solutions that maintain the relevant functionality and quality of the packaging material for the contracted foodstuffs.
Regarding levels of packaging
- The primary packaging is the part that contains the product itself. This could be, for example, a bag of fresh vegetables.
- Secondary packaging – that is, grouped packaging – is used to pack several primary packages, such as where a bag or container holds several individual packages of vegetables.
- Tertiary packaging is the next level of packaging, also called shipping packaging. This is used for distribution of the secondary packaging in an appropriate manner. Examples of shipping packaging include the outer wrapping of a pallet, such as shrink wrap, stretch wrap and other films, or returnable items such as boxes or pallets.
The use of packaging and wrapping materials results in the production of large amounts of waste. Novel solutions for optimising packaging and wrapping materials therefore contribute to resource efficiency due to a reduced environmental impact from the packaged product.
When measures for packaging/wrapping are considered from an overall perspective, attention must be paid to how the material can be recycled and to ensure that food waste and damage in transit do not increase; that is, it must be ensured that food safety can be maintained for the product in question.
This special contract term promotes more circular solutions and extends beyond applicable legislation stated in the Packaging Directive (Directive 94/62/EC on packaging and packaging waste). The Directive states, for example, that:
- packaging shall be used only when necessary
- volume and weight shall be limited to what is considered necessary for maintaining satisfactory levels of safety and hygiene
- harmfulness to the environment shall be limited through choices made regarding the substances and materials used in the packaging
The version date indicates when the sustainability criterion was created or last updated. Last reviewed dated tells when we last checked that the sustainability criterion still is relevant.
- Current ID
- Version date
- Review date