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Pack­a­ging Recycling

Efficient reuse of packaging


Sustainability concerns us all. As a manufacturer of fast-moving consumer goods, this is particularly relevant to us and our business practices. At Reemtsma, we place significant importance on the responsible use of our resources. As an industrial company, we aim to uphold our responsibility and continually work within the group to decrease our ecological footprint. How? By gradually minimizing our actual and potential environmental impact step by step along our entire value chain

Let's begin with the obvious: our packaging.

The packaging of commercially available factory cigarettes usually consists of a folding carton. In addition to the actual box, this also includes the inner liner: a protective paper that completely envelops the cigarettes in the unopened box and is only partially removed when the pack is opened.

The folding carton is surrounded by a plastic film that can be divided into an upper and a lower component by means of a tear strip. On its journey from the cigarette manufacturing machine to the retail shelf, the packaging must withstand numerous challenges. The plastic film ensures that our quality products, which are manufactured with great care, always reach consumers fresh and undamaged.


Would you like an example?

The packaging of a standard 20-pack commercial box of our JPS brand is 91 percent recyclable. (certificate)

The non-recyclable portion of the packaging, which accounts for nine percent, is mainly composed of three component groups:

  • Inks and glue in the upper part of the plastic film
  • Inks, varnishes and adhesives that hold the folding carton together
  • Lower part of the plastic film, which unfortunately is regularly not removed and ends up in the wrong recycling system together with the folding carton

Recycling as responsible interaction

Our goal is to ensure that our packaging components are recycled as extensively as possible. In the meantime, we are already using pack variants for our additive-free cigarette brand Gauloises Liberté whose film – with the exception of the tear-off thread required for the closure – has a recycled content of 97 per cent* - i.e. consists almost entirely of recycled plastic. Empty packs can be completely recycled separately, as the box is also made of paper.

However, successful recycling is not the sole responsibility of industry. Consumers must also be aware of their responsibility. Correct disposal plays a crucial role in ensuring the recyclability of not only our packaging, but also all packaging materials. Only through proper separation and disposal can the packaging materials be directed to the appropriate recycling system, and the existing recycling potential can actually be realised. In the case of our cigarette packs, this means that the folding carton and inner liner belong in the paper recycling bin, while the plastic film should be disposed of in the yellow recycling bin.

*Mass balance certification according to ISCC