Greater resource protection through innovative packaging solutions

Modern packaging needs to be multi-talented. Not only must it protect the goods, but it should also be attractive, affordable, recyclable or made of recycled material, easy to transport and able to provide the customer with information. A real masterpiece, then, of function, aesthetics, price and ecology.

  • The Migros Plus Oeco Power spray bottle is made from 100% recycled PET and has therefore received the Worldstar Award 2016.

  • Mifa AG’s Packaging Development team evaluates a new packaging solution for laundry and cleaning detergents.

  • Comparison of three recycled PET containers: Right 0%, centre 25%, left 50% recycled material. It is good to see that the visual differences are very slight.

  • Two examples of reduced packaging weight without loss of quality: Potz Cream Cleanser (left before and right after) and “I am” roll-on deodorant.

This is why the Mibelle Group employs its own, in-house packaging teams. These experts are tasked with making constant improvements to our packaging. This involves balancing the conflicting aims of all the different criteria.

Rainer Rohr, Head of Packaging Development Home Care, Mifa AG explains the problem: "The packaging film around a powder detergent needs to be as thin as possible so that it doesn’t weigh much. At the same time, it should not be too thin – or you run the risk that it will lose its protective function. In addition, we want to save on our transport packaging. Yet our business is becoming increasingly international. And the logistics needs of international trade mean an increase in our demand for secondary cardboard packaging."

The development teams of the Mibelle Group carry out intensive research into the subject. Katja Klenner, Head of Packaging Development Personal Care, Mibelle AG, gives an insight into their work: "Bottles made of recycled PET, for example, can vary quite considerably in their colour. That’s why our developers faced the particular challenge of designing a transparent bottle with no discolouration. As things stand we could replace up to 54 tons of plastics with recycled PET."

The “Migros Plus Oeco Power” spray bottle, developed by Mifa AG, goes one step further, as Rainer Rohr explains: "In 2015 we were finally able to offer a product - the spray bottle - that was made of 100% recycled PET. First it won the Swiss Packaging Award and then even the Worldstar Award. That brought us great national and international attention.”

By 2040 the entire M-Industry, of which the Mibelle Group is a member, will operate in closed cycles – and that also applies to the packaging, which by then must be sourced entirely from sustainable raw materials. Herr Rohr sums up why this is so important: "The packaging is part of the whole sales package. But when it’s empty, it should not just be thrown away. We have to protect our planet, the land, and in particular the oceans from this plastic waste. That’s another reason why it’s so important to close the cycles."

Sustainability facts for ecological packaging at the Mibelle Group:

  • Since 2015 the spray bottles from the Migros own brand M-Plus Oeko Power, which are produced by Mifa AG, have consisted of 100% recycled PET.
  • The area of Personal Care (Mibelle AG) aims to use more recycled material for PET bottles from 2016.
  • The Home Care division (Mifa AG) has set itself the target of reducing the relative packaging weight by 10% between 2013 and 2020, and to increase the percentage of recycled and renewable raw materials by 10% each.
  • The Mibelle Group uses this and many other improvements to support the packaging promise of Generation M (the Migros sustainability programme): By 2020 over 6000 tons of packaging material will have been ecologically optimised.
  • The Mibelle Group pursues the long-term vision of its umbrella company, M-Industry: From 2040 all packaging used will be 100% recyclable, and made of sustainable raw materials. The Mibelle Group will then only work with closed ecological cycles.

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