Our Commitment to Reduce Plastic Waste

On 24 September 2019 we won the “Refillable Award” prize from the Deutsche Umwelthilfe at the ReUse Conference in Brussels. The jury consisted of representatives from the European commission, the beverage industry, associations and academia. Together they assess the status of reusable packaging in Europe and award companies that play a pioneering role in reducing resource use and the fight against climate change.

The brown Brodowin milk bottle has been distributed exclusively to the region of Berlin since the dairy was commissioned in 1995.

We consciously decided to only focus our operations on the local region to avoid long transport distances. This is how we ensure that the distribution of our milk with the relatively heavy glass bottles has a minimal environmental impact. Every litre of milk is transported in a glass bottle that weighs approximately 300g, however, each bottle can be reused up to 20 times. In this way the emissions from the transport of the waste are avoided. Furthermore the glas bottle is recycled at the end of its life and therefore does not go to landfill.

Since December 2019 we have also been using 1 litre glass bottles and 500 ml glas jars to package our yoghurt. We use Blueseal-lids which are completely free of PVC and plasticisers.

We would also like to use this award as an opportunity to demonstrate how we have been committed to reducing and optimising the packaging of our products for many years. The Brodowin milk in the glass deposit bottle was our first major step towards sustainability in the mid-90´s.

Demand for single-use packaging prompted us to find a reasonable alternative to the glass bottle. Therefore we have been filling our cow and goats milk into single use Calymer™ bags since 2006. These weigh 16g each and consist of 40% chalk (calcium carbonate), which significantly reduces the plastic component of the bag. In this manner we can offer our customers who would like a single use form of packaging an alternative which is particularly economical on longer transport distances due its reduced weight.

At the 2007 Anuga, Cologne, we won the Innovation Prize for being the first organisation to introduce the environmentally friendly milk bags.

The topics “unpackaged” and “reusable” are constantly being addressed in Brodowin and with our Brodowin delivery service. This is why we have always supplied our customers using the reusable NAPF crates. Our fruits and vegetables are packed into these crates without any further packaging, the only exception being loose goods such as peanuts or grapes, which are placed into paper bags. The crates are regularly washed and checked for damage.

The crate system (with deposit) is so sustainable that we even use crates that are over 25 years old. We seldomly need to buy new crates and therefore reduce the consumption of further resources.

Through our delivery service you also receive our milk, cream, yoghurt and many drinks in glas bottles or containers that are reused many times with a deposit system. Furthermore our kitchen has been packaging many of their ready-made meals in “WECK”-jars which are completely sealed and can last up to two years.

The way we value food is explained here „Our Philospohy on Food”.

We are also tackling the issue of plastic packaging of dry goods. In our online shop you will find the unpackaged assortment of goods such as noodles, nuts or rice in a jar for which you pay a deposit. Once you receive the goods, you can transfer them into containers at home and return the jars to us to get back your deposit. In this way we create a resource reducing cycle which benefits the environment and therefore also humans.

We consciously decided to choose WECK-jars since not only the jar but also the lid is made of glas and even the rubber rings can be reused. If you would like to reuse the jar, you can order brackets and rubber rings in Brodowin. You can easily remove our labels by soaking the jar in water and replace it with one of your own.

We receive a lot of positive feedback from our customers for our creative approach to reduce plastic waste. This has inspired us to meticulously work at increasing our range of reusable containers and packaging. Salads, cream cheese and Brodowin mozzarella are also available in the WECK-jar through our delivery service.

We are aware that our efforts to prevent waste are only the beginning. However, we hope that with the support of our customers we will be able to adapt many more areas of our operation. We always welcome new ideas and suggestions which can be sent to us via info@brodowin.de.