Sustainable food packaging

Keyvisual sustainable food

Would you like to become more sustainable with your food packaging? You’ve come to the right place!

Today, packaging should not only protect food and beverages and extend their shelf life, it also needs to be sustainable. But how can sustainable food packaging be integrated into the production process?

Sustainable packaging for cookies

Packaging materials

Schubert has both the expertise and the technology to help manufacturers meet this challenge. We develop and implement packaging systems that enable you to package your food safely, reliably, sustainably and efficiently. You can read here how extraordinarily flexible our machines are when it comes to processing environmentally friendly materials.

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Valentin Köhler develops sustainable packaging

Packaging optimisation

Are you already packaging your products automatically, but now want sustainable food packaging? Not a problem – we can optimise your product packaging with a clear focus on recyclability, economical cutting and machine compatibility. Find out here how we do it.

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Sustainable Casepacker

Process optimisation

The more efficient processes are, the less waste they produce and the more sustainable they are – and this is especially important in the food sector. Here we demonstrate how we accurately analyse and optimise your processes: from production to sustainable food packaging, to transport and point of sale.

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Packaging materials

Whatever type of material you would like to pack with, we have the technology to do it. Our modular and extremely flexible packaging machines can effortlessly process almost all cardboard and plastic packaging.

Are you already using cardboard packaging and are looking for e-commerce solutions? With our robotic technology, we can also pack food products in fixed or hinged reusable transport containers – in the same machine.

With our experts, you can get even more out of your packaging: We will show you how to transform an existing format into sustainable food packaging that is also suitable for automation. For example, by saving packaging material. Or by replacing a conventional solution with a more environmentally friendly one.

Sustainable packaging for cookies

Cardboard packaging

Cardboard is one of the most sustainable packaging materials available, because the recycling loop is already very well established. As a packaging machine manufacturer who worked mainly with cardboard as far back as 50 years ago, Schubert can boast a wealth of experience and expertise with it. Whether you are looking for resource-saving sleeves, a wide range of box types, shipping crates or shelf-ready solutions – our cartoners and carton packers pack your products gently, quickly and compactly. Ideal for transport or visually appealing for the retail trade. You can also rely on our robot-assisted technology when it comes to meeting special requirements such as fine assortment packaging with padding paper, glue-free boxes, unusual shapes or sensitive surfaces.

Cardboard sleeve for grilled cheese


Cardboard sleeves are ideally suited as an attractive and sustainable product presentation. For example, several bars of chocolate can be bundled easily and in a way that saves resources, or cheese and sausage can be packed in very thin plastic packaging and securely wrapped – with a minimum of material input.

Cardboard boxes for yoghurt drinks


Cartons made of solid cardboard protect your product as primary packaging and provide your brand with a large communication surface at point of sale. A variety of standard or creative box designs are available, depending on the product, the type of loading, the machine concept and the required output. Both boxes with a lid opening or side access are possible.

Cardboard shipping case for sauces

Shipping cases

Shipping cases can be designed as RSC or wrap-around boxes. While the RSC box is usually the more economical solution, the wrap-around has a more compact design and delivers greater performance. Due to the higher precision of the die-cut, a wrap-around produces a precisely shaped corrugated box with a premium appearance.

Cardboard Shelf-Ready Pack for Nippon

Shelf-Ready Packs (SRP)

SRPs can be used in one or more parts, i.e. with a separate lid, and are ideally suited both for transport and for the presentation of goods on the sales shelf. In this case, functionality and an attractive appearance of the outer packaging complement each other.

Reusable container

Reusable containers

Plastic can be sustainable, too, if it is used properly – for instance in the form of rigid or foldable reusable transport containers. They enable manufacturers to reduce the use of cardboard boxes and films in retail logistics and e-commerce.

Casepacker packaging machine for Kühne

Cartoners and carton packers

Our modular cartoners and carton packers are specialists when it comes to flexible packaging into cartons and returnable containers. From customised machine layouts to the preconfigured and quickly available lightline cartonpacker – with product-specific pre-grouping, easy format changes between different packages and their high machine availability – our systems ensure an efficient, reliable and sustainable process.

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There are good reasons why food is packaged into flowpacks: The films are used to protect flavour, extend shelf life, ensure a barrier against odours or seal the packaging in the case of fatty products – and sometimes all of these at the same time. Until now, composite films have been used most often, which are not recyclable and therefore not very environmentally friendly. Simply replacing them with sustainable food packaging, however, presents problems for many packaging lines. This is because flowpack films have to be very flexible, tear-resistant and easy to seal in order to be processed by most machines. With the Flowpacker, the flow-wrapping machine from Schubert, you are on the safe side: thanks to our state-of-the-art sealing technologies, you have the freedom to choose between conventional composite films, recyclable monofilms or even paper-based films on a single machine.

Laminated film

Laminated films

Laminated films consist of one or more plastic base films, usually PP, PET or PE plastics. Barriers or barrier layers as well as a sealing layer are integrated into the film to protect the product. So far, the different materials used have made it almost impossible to recycle them by type.



Monofilms consist of several layers, but only one type of plastic. This makes them recyclable and thereby more environmentally friendly. PP (polypropylene) is usually used, which is also processed for sealing. There is also some foreign material in the barrier layer.

Paper-based film

Paper-based films

Paper-based films can also feature barrier properties, produced by laminated or extruded films or by coatings. Fibre-based films with water-soluble dispersion coatings are of course more sustainable, as they generally perform better in terms of recyclability. Both variants can be processed on Schubert systems.

Flowpacker packs products

Flow-wrapping machines

The Flowpacker, Schubert's flow-wrapping machine, has several advantages for the sustainable packaging of food products thanks to its unique machine concept: Gentle feeding via pick & place in a single line, including quality control, ensures flawless products in flowpacks and a high-quality packaging process. State-of-the-art sealing technologies and specially developed forming shoulders process conventional and sustainable materials equally reliably and efficiently.

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As varied as foods are, so are trays in terms of their shapes and sizes. Here, too, product protection and shelf life are top priorities. There is also a consumer-friendly component when it comes to unpacking and consuming. As primary packaging, trays also have to be as space-saving and easy to insert into other packaging as possible. The better the packaging materials can be recycled, the more environmentally friendly they are. This is why the trend towards cardboard packaging also plays a major role here. At Schubert, you have several options for making your packaging more sustainable: Our pick & place machines can easily switch between plastic and cardboard trays. Furthermore, our packaging experts can help you develop an environmentally friendly cardboard alternative to your current packaging.

Plastic tray for cookies

Plastic trays

Plastic trays have so far been the first choice for fatty products. But here, too, more sustainable packaging can be used for food – for example, through recyclable mono-materials as well as thinner plastics or tightly dimensioned variants that save resources.

Cardboard tray for cookies

Cardboard trays

Many plastic trays can be replaced with cardboard alternatives. The important thing here is functionality: the products have to be adequately protected and secured for transport and sale. The packaging also needs to be machine-compatible so that it can be processed in a line.

Pick and place robot

Pick & place machines

Our picker lines can easily handle the sustainable packaging of food products into trays: Robot tools customised for each product place even fragile, fatty or freely shaped products safely and gently into the packaging – while reducing waste to a minimum. At the same time, the pick & place machines easily switch from cardboard to plastic and back again.

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Packaging optimisation

Are you now using cardboard packaging, but would like to become even more sustainable? Or are you in the process of entirely rethinking your packaging solutions? Beyond the decision for a recyclable packaging material, there are other areas where you can optimise packaging – and some of them may even be new to you.

A look at the cut, the material thickness and machine compatibility can be very worthwhile. Because even economical blanks, thinner trays and a revision of the formats can offer great potential in the long run. Our packaging development team will be happy to share their expertise and bring you one step closer to sustainability.

The environmental friendliness of packaging is often only one aspect among many, especially for food manufacturers. This is why, throughout the optimisation process, we consider issues such as visibility at point of sale, reliable procurement and compatibility with common transport systems in order to find the best solution for you and with you.

Valetin Köhler develops sustainable packaging
Cardboard Wrap-Around for Jägermeister

Recyclable materials

Packaging made of composite materials which cannot be separated is not recyclable. On the other hand, mono-materials made of plastic and especially cardboard have high recycling rates. So when it comes to sustainability, recyclable packaging is half the battle. And in many cases, plastic can be replaced with cardboard – something we now often do with our customers.

Machine-compatible tray


The design of the packaging is key to a machine-compatible solution. The more blanks or trays that fit next to each other in a machine magazine, the more output can be achieved in the line. At the same time, material thickness, stability and, in the case of carton blanks, the erecting process all have to be taken into account as well. We consider all these factors in our packaging development.

Economical packaging for coffee capsules

Economical blanks

With our reliable robot technology, you can save material with every packaging. For example, through optimal product configuration in the carton and smaller blanks. Also with plastic trays and flowpack films, robots can help you save a few millimetres of packaging material for each product and save resources – thanks to their very precise operation.

Sustainable packaging for cookies

Packaging development as an opportunity

Schubert’s in-house packaging development supports you in switching to more efficient packaging and therefore in producing more sustainably.

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Process optimisation

In most cases, process flows in companies have evolved historically. Established procedures are rarely changed. However, there is often considerable room for improvement in this area: The more efficient the processes, the less waste. This is especially important in the food industry to counteract food waste. Avoiding rejects is one of the most significant levers for more sustainability. To achieve environmentally friendly process optimisation, the processes – from production of the food to packaging and transport to point of sale – therefore need to be closely examined and analysed.

We support food manufacturers in reducing waste down to zero wherever possible. This begins directly in our machines with gentle product handling in the context of a reliable packaging process. Our Schubert services also guarantee high machine availability and flexibly adapt the modular Schubert systems to new requirements. When planning a new packaging process, the upstream and downstream manufacturing and packaging steps are incorporated. And thanks to the experienced Schubert Consulting team, the optimisation options extend across the entire supply chain, from raw materials to recycling, if requested.

Sustainable packaging machine for food
Pick and place robot picks croissant

A reliable packaging process

With a reliable and safe packaging process, you will reduce the waste of ready-to-sell food and the consumption of packaging materials down to a minimum. Our robot-based packaging systems ensure gentle product processing with individually adapted tools. At the same time, Schubert image processing guarantees a packaging result of impeccable quality. With optimised and recyclable packaging, you also save further resources for even more sustainability with each individual product.

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Digital Dashboard

High machine availability

Unplanned downtimes are much more than a nuisance, especially in the food industry, because valuable food often has to be disposed of as a result. High machine availability is a decisive building block for sustainable production. With Schubert’s 4YOU Services, our experts will help you keep your packaging line in top condition for many years and, if necessary, convert it to meet new requirements. This works even more efficiently with the digital CARE Services from the 4YOU portfolio: Via the customer portal, we can plan maintenance in advance and increase machine performance through OEE evaluations.

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Optimised processes – in, ahead of and following the machine

When switching to sustainable packaging for food, it is also worth taking a look at the associated processes: for example, optimising the packaging layout to save resources, integrating various process steps into a packaging line for greater efficiency, a machine concept with a performance buffer to avoid overproduction of food, or improving transport logistics to reduce CO2 emissions. The earlier the Schubert experts are involved in the planning phase of a new project, the greater the chances of significantly increasing sustainability along the process chain.

Sustainable packaging solutions with Schubert-Consulting

With Schubert-Consulting’s cross-market expertise, the issue of sustainability can be analysed, optimised and consolidated even further – in fact, across the entire food supply chain from the use of raw materials to the consumer. Our experienced consultants will identify suitable materials for you using a holistic processing approach, develop packaging, optimise your logistics, integrate digitalisation, take into account the 5Rs of sustainability and implement systems – and even independently of the packaging machine manufacturer.

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Sustainability in practice

Flexibility and efficiency have been at the heart of our packaging solutions for many years. They represent the basic prerequisite with which sustainable food packaging can be achieved more easily. Our practical examples show you why.

Kühne packaging machine

An efficiency bonus for food manufacturer Kühne

In the new TLM lines at Kühne, Schubert’s GS.Gate gateway networks all machine data with the customer’s digital platform while maintaining the highest security standards. This enables optimisation potential to be identified with the help of our digital CARE Services, making the entire packaging process more sustainable.

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Packaging machine for cheese producer Jermi

Optimised logistics at contract packer Jermi

Ten per cent more sliced cheese per display carton – this is achieved with a special pre-grouping process in the carton packer at Jermi. The robots place the packages with the blisters so precisely that the cartons are now entirely filled, making transport more sustainable.

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Packaging machine for Yakult

Switch to wrap-around cartons at Yakult

Instead of film, food manufacturer Yakult now packs in environmentally friendly wrap-around cartons, which are also more attractive at point of sale and easy for consumers to handle. At the same time, the Schubert machine guarantees high performance and exceptional flexibility.

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Food campaign

Packaging food with automation and flexibility

The food industry, with its intense competitive pressures, is also facing major challenges when it comes to packaging. Our answer for you is efficiency through automation, robotics and digitalisation. Whether you process fresh produce, frozen food or shelf-stable food, with our machines you can package cost-effectively and efficiently. Find out here about our technically advanced packaging solutions for food.

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