Foto von einer Packmaschine mit Seeberger Folie

Our goal: to close the circle

Circular economy at Seeberger

In nature there is no room for waste. In a continuous natural cycle, everything that decomposes is fed back into the ground so that a new cycle begins. Our high-quality products originate in nature. They are thus part of the cycle. That’s why our responsibility to use natural resources carefully applies wherever our products are grown, processed, packed and shipped. With this in mind, at Seeberger we follow the principle of waste avoidance and use methods including recycling for our packaging.

We’re guided by the “cradle-to-cradle” principle to achieve an uninterrupted and consistent circular economy, in which products can either be returned to biological cycles or kept continuously in technical cycles. For as long as possible without losing quality. This means that products can become new raw materials again and then products again. In the perfect circular economy there is no waste.

Our focus is on the areas where we can influence resources, the environment and climate and thus effect the most change: on our characteristic Seeberger packaging and the processing of our natural products. Our goals are ambitious. We want to optimise the entire life cycle – from the origin of our raw materials through the production process to the moment our customers open a Seeberger pack at home.

We’re proud that we’ve already made significant progress in this regard: 94 % of our flat bag packaging is now made from recyclable monocomposite film. And in the production process, we’re losing less than 1 % of the supplied raw product. But that’s only the beginning. We’re always looking for new ways to make our cycles even tighter..

Our circular economy goals by 2025

Icon zu Ziel 100% recyclingfähige Verpackungen: Seeberger Packung mit Kreislaufsymbol und 100%

100 % recyclable packaging in the range

Icon zu Meilenstein recyclingfähige Monoverbundfolie: Rolle mit Seeberger Folie und nach unten zeigendem Pfeil mit -20%

20 % reduction in fossil fuels across the whole product lifecycle

Alternative packaging materials without compromising product protection

Working towards sustainable packaging

The characteristic orange packaging is our identifying feature and also a mark of quality. It protects our natural products, preserves their aromas and ensures shelf life. At the same time, it’s also a constant challenge in terms of sustainability. Can more resource-efficient packaging really meet our quality standards? A conflict of objectives that we have to resolve. Our goals are ambitious, but we are determined to find individual and forward-looking solutions that do meet our high expectations.

Unique packaging for unique flavour
People grow nuts, fruits and coffee of the best quality for Seeberger in over 60 countries worldwide. They are often only harvested once a year. We have to ensure consistent protection during transport and processing to preserve the original aromas of the sensitive products. Our special packaging not only protects against light and oxygen, but also preserves the unique flavour. And so much more: it also minimises food waste, thereby valuing the work of all those striving to grow the raw materials for our products.
Materials for the best possible protection
Replace plastic with glass or paper and you’ve got sustainable, resource-efficient packaging, right? Unfortunately, it’s just not that simple. Glass production requires a lot of energy, transport causes higher CO2 emissions due to the weight and a lid has to be recycled separately. Then there’s the question of the deposit system. What about paper? A challenge in terms of strength and impermeability. Biodegradable films made from maize or sugar cane? A great idea, but it's at the expense of agricultural land and doesn’t offer the right protective properties yet. Our products all have individual requirements with regard to hygiene, shelf life, light protection and oxygen permeability. Alternative packaging options aren’t able to meet these needs for any of our products at the moment.
Monocomposite film – a step in the right direction
Our approach: monocomposite films. Monocomposite films aren’t just packaging, they’re a statement. In contrast to conventional composite films made from different materials, monocomposite films are produced from several layers of one material. This makes recycling more efficient. In addition, the generated secondary raw materials can be returned to the cycle and can be used again in the form of recyclates. However, we also know that the system isn’t working perfectly yet: many sorting plants don’t identify recyclable material reliably yet. It’s important to us to keep improving our recycling practices and to contribute actively to a more sustainable packaging solution. For instance, 94 % of our flat bag packaging is already made from recyclable monocomposite film, which we primarily procure from Germany and Austria. Thanks to our continual optimisation measures, we’re reducing material use and thus the need for crude oil. Each small step brings us closer to our goal of closing cycles.
Recyclates – a life after use
What is a recyclate? Very simply: it’s plastic that has already been used once and can be reused thanks to recycling processes. An approach that ties in with our vision of a closed cycle. Since autumn 2021, we’ve been using films with a 30 % recyclate content for fifteen Nut & Fruit products. A symbol on the back of the packaging makes this visible to everyone. By using recyclates, we’re saving valuable resources.
Mass balance: the principle of mixed plastic
We procure our packaging material according to the so-called “mass balance”. It works like green energy: if you choose green energy and sign a corresponding agreement with a supplier, you still get power from different sources from your sockets just like everyone else. But by buying green energy, you’re supporting the production of renewable energies. Similarly, we’ve signed a contract for recyclates with our suppliers, but in practice get a mix of recycled materials and new materials, thereby increasing the demand for recycled material.

Where we stand

Circular economy milestones – achievements so far


Material saving of around 5 % by reducing bag height on 13 of our doy packs.

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Around 90 % of snack flat bags are switched to recyclable monocomposite film, reducing material use by up to 20 %. Coffee films for whole beans are switched to a thinner, matt film, which equates to a material saving of 10 %. The inside of our Advent calendar is changed to 100 % natural recycled fibre.

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Other flat and upright bags are switched to recyclable monocomposite film, while also reducing material use. An aluminium-free monocomposite film is used for our ground coffee packaging, which means 15 % less packaging material.

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We’re saving two tonnes of material every year by getting rid of the zip-close on six of our snack packs. 10 of our snack products are supplied in films with a 30 % recyclate content. Our coffee packaging is switched to a new, aluminium-free and recyclable monocomposite film without metallisation.

Hand greift an Seeberger Verpackungsfolie in Produktion

Digital innovations for sustainable packaging – the HolyGrail Initiative

We’ve been a proud member of the HolyGrail 2.0 Initiative since 2020, helping to advance the goals of the global circular economy for packaging. More than 85 international companies from a single value-added chain have joined forces to achieve this under the leadership of AIM®, the European brand association. The goal is to find out whether so-called digital watermarks can facilitate improved sorting and higher recycling rates for packaging in the EU.

Christina Köhn from our Product Management delves deeper into this exciting initiative in the following interview, explaining what packaging recycling might look like in the future.

160 companies are working together on a solution for perfect recycling. Why is Seeberger supporting the “HolyGrail” Initiative?
The question is: how can we design packaging so that it can be completely reused? We’re not tackling this question alone: it affects companies along the entire packaging added-value chain worldwide. Indeed, the challenges of large-scale packaging waste require solutions on a grand scale. The aim of the initiative is to work together to establish an efficient circular economy for packaging. We’re playing an active role, supporting the development process financially and contributing knowledge, requests and questions. Efficient, high-quality recycling is an important goal both in terms of environmental policy and from a commercial perspective. In the ideal cycle, we’d simply reuse our recycled packaging as a secondary raw material for new packaging. These raw materials are too valuable simply to throw away.
What might this solution look like?
The prerequisite for optimal recycling is that packaging can be separated efficiently at the sorting plant. This is precisely where “HolyGrail” focuses. A digital watermark on packaging will facilitate exact sorting of different types of plastic. Lots of other information could also be stored. Waste sorting plants could identify Seeberger packaging from the watermark, for example, and read that it was used for walnuts and is made from monocomposite material. The sorting plants can then place it correctly in the right material section. Unmixed waste can be used to produce very high-quality recyclate, which is then fed back into the cycle. This is not possible yet with current technology.
Can Seeberger packaging be tagged with the digital watermark?
That’s already technically feasible. It was successfully tested in the “HolyGrail 1.0” phase. The project is currently in phase 3, which involves trials in an industrial environment at selected locations in France and Germany. In the next step, products will be tested in a French pilot market. We’re excited about the results.