Dr. Schär introduces the world’s first recycled plastic packaging for gluten-free bread

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A true milestone in the area of sustainable food packaging: Dr. Schär partners with Niederwieser Spa in developing the world’s first gluten free bread packaging made with certified circular plastic. As part of the cooperation, Dr. Schär with its leading gluten-free brand Schär trusts in the expertise of the food packaging specialist to jointly offer an innovative and sustainable packaging solution while maintaining the taste, quality and safety of their products.

Sustainable innovation

The new, sustainable packaging will be launched in Europe at the end of 2021 for the gluten-free sandwich buns, Schär Panini Rolls, to be produced with innovative material made from the advanced recycling of mixed post-consumer plastics.

“We aim to be in the vanguard of sustainability.

And as innovation lies at the core of our company, we worked to achieve this big step – offering more sustainable solutions and at the same time continue to provide great tasting and safe products,” says Dr. Schär CEO Philipp Schoeller. “Our partner Niederwieser with suppliers SABIC and DSM share similar sustainability commitments and are also working to increase the supply of recycled material. Together we can be among the first to close the loop."

Working together towards a circular economy

The partnership between the two family businesses Dr. Schär and Niederwieser Spa is based on the shared vision of a sustainable future and on striving towards a circular economy. The use of recycled materials is playing an increasingly important role in food packaging. Currently, the recycling of plastics in Europe is mainly carried out by means of mechanical processes. However, the recyclate obtained is not suitable for use in food contact packaging due to migration, hygiene and performance issues. This is where advanced recycling comes in, which also makes post-consumer recyclables or composite materials recyclable. The number of advanced recycled quantities available today is very limited and the process is somewhat more complex, but the quality of the material is comparable to virgin material and therefore suitable for sensitive food application.

Advanced recycling is still in the infant stages, yet the industry promises new recycling opportunities. This is because, although it is suitable for food applications, it is not yet readily available due to the lack of large-scale recycling facilities.

That's why Dr. Schär and Niederwieser are all the more proud to launch Schär Panini Rolls as pilot product packaged using certified recycled plastic. This is an important milestone on the company’s packaging roadmap.  

Dr. Schär will be a first-mover in the bread industry, launching the certified advanced recycling innovation for sensitive food application as produced and developed by Niederwieser and its extrusion subsidiary VF Verpackungen GmbH. All three partners, Niederwieser, SABIC and DSM, are certified by ISCC for using certified recycled plastic following a mass balance approach.

"We strive towards a circular economy by keeping material in the loop and using recycled material,” says Hannes Niederwieser, CEO Niederwieser Spa. He further explains: “Many years of supplier relationship connects our two South Tyrolean companies. However, we do not want to be mere suppliers, but know that we can only grow and achieve our goals together, as partners. What unites us is a common mission: continuous and sustainable development while maintaining the highest quality of our products.”

The partners who made the project possible

  • Niederwieser is a flexible food packaging producer serving partners in the food industry in over 80 countries worldwide.
  • SABIC is global leader in diversified chemicals with Global Headquarters in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The company ranks among the world’s largest petrochemicals manufacturers.
  • Royal DSM is a global, purpose-led, science-based company active in Nutrition, Health and Sustainable Living. DSM delivers innovative solutions for human nutrition, animal nutrition, personal care and aroma, medical devices, packaging, and new mobility and connectivity. More information can be found at www.dsm.com.