“Less Plastic – Closed Loops”: The Schwarz Group's Plastics Strategy
REset Plastic is the Schwarz Group’s holistic international plastic strategy. The aim of this strategy is to rethink our approach to plastic. We have three goals: To reduce plastic by 25%, to maximize the recyclability of our own-brand packaging, and to use an average of 20% recyclate (recycled plastic) in our plastic own-brand packaging.
REset Plastic has a holistic approach, covering everything from avoidance through design, recycling, and the disposal of plastic through to innovation and education. The aim is to reduce plastic and close loops.
Our colleague Hannah supports the closed-loop systems unit. After completing a bachelor’s degree in ecosystem management and a master’s in sustainability science, she initially took on a consultancy role in sustainability management systems and spent some time working in environmental education in Malaysia before joining the Schwarz Group in 2018.
Hannah, what does a normal working day involve for you and what are your responsibilities in terms of REset Plastic?
I’m in charge of the REmove field of action and work on the design, coordination, and further development of this area: It's about the disposal, collection, and reuse of recyclable material that is already in the environment, and about “stopping the tap” so that recyclable material doesn’t end up in the environment in the first place.
With the assistance of a cross-divisional team, I support and advise the countries in the divisions on REmove campaigns (workshops, providing documents, separation and recycling concepts for cleanup initiatives, etc.). I also lead and coordinate the international, cross-divisional REmove project “River Cleanup Collective,” which is taking place in 16 national companies along the Danube in 2022, for instance, as well as two projects in Indonesia: The BRIC river cleanup project in cooperation with our partner organizations One Earth – One Ocean and WasteForChange and the STOP waste management project.
We are also very active in the region. For example, we organize an annual cleanup drive on Stiftsberg, which had over 1,000 employees taking part in 2021.
What drew you to a career in sustainability?
I have always wanted to effect change, to get involved. At the Schwarz Group, I have the potential to really make a difference, with lots of opportunities in many different areas. The Schwarz Group is particularly unique when it comes to recycling systems, as the entire value chain for plastics is covered by the Group. This means that we have the opportunity to establish internal loops right now. What really impresses me is that all the divisions and numerous departments across the Group are working together globally to achieve these goals.
Do you have any tips for our readers on how to live a more sustainable life outside of work as well?
Start with the little things – it doesn’t always have to be about giving up those things that are important to us (like one long flight a year). Try to be more conscious of how you use resources in everyday life, like packaging (especially packaging on convenience food). If you see plastic when you’re out and about, pick it up and throw it away. It won’t hurt you and it helps the environment!
👉 Further information on our REset Plastic strategy is available here: https://reset-plastic.com
If you want to join us in helping to create a sustainable future, then apply today!