Respecting the environment

Interesting sustainability projects (and how you can get involved)

Whether tackling plastic waste in the oceans, saving resources, or recycling materials, sustainability is a key issue at RKW. Here you can find out about the groundbreaking sustainability projects RKW is working on.

We assume responsibility - RKW launches sustainability campaign


As a leading manufacturer of excellent film solutions, RKW is committed to recycling management, i.e. the increased use of recycled materials, the development of easily recyclable products and the protection of natural resources. But sustainability means much more and also has an economic as well as social dimension.

The RKW sustainability campaign runs until the "European Sustainability Week" in September 2020 and is accompanied by environmental protection measures at our European locations. During the coming weeks, RKW will be presenting a number of selected initiatives with a focus on specific areas. The final event will be the participation of the RKW headquarters at the “RhineCleanUp-initiative” on September 12 – a joint waste collection on the Frankenthaler section of the Rhine River.

Together they form an essential part of RKW's business mission: "With sustainable film solutions, we enable our customers to improve the daily life of consumers all over the world.”

The formula for sustainability: A focus on the three Rs

The figure is a clear brief: The environmental aspect of packaging is important to 82 percent of consumers. RKW has been working for many years on innovative solutions to secure the future of our planet. The three Rs formula for sustainability applies here: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Reduce means cutting down on the use of raw materials as well as CO2 emissions. Reuse is self-explanatory, and Recycle applies to the field of product development with the aim of reclaiming materials. Over the last 20 years, we have notched up some considerable achievements in this regard. We have developed agricultural films, for example, that are 100 percent recyclable and reduced the material thickness of diaper films by up to 60 percent.

If you would like to join us in developing and producing the solutions of the future,
then convince us with your application!

Committed to cleaner oceans

This pleases young parents as much as it does us and serves as an incentive to step up our commitment to the subject of sustainability. In doing so, we are always on the lookout for smart minds and lateral thinkers who want to join us in making the world a little bit better with their innovative ideas.

One particularly interesting project is entitled “Zero Granule Loss.” It was launched by the trade associations PlasticsEurope Germany (plastics manufacturers) and VCI (the German Chemical Industry Association) and its aim is to prevent the further pollution of coastal regions and oceans by completely avoiding granule loss. Here it is especially important to establish clean and error-free processes at the unloading points, in the goods receiving area, and on the conveyor systems.

When it comes to sustainability, less is more – a maxim that particularly applies to the use of raw materials in the plastics industry. That is why RKW is always conducting research into new ways and methods of making films even thinner. This applies to hygiene and silage films just as much as shrink films used in the food industry. It is also important because the processing of raw materials in film production generates the greatest proportion of CO2 emissions. The reduction of this climate-damaging gas is another important cornerstone of RKW’s sustainability strategy. And the customer benefits alongside the environment: Down gauging also saves money by using less raw material.

“In addition to our sustainability activities throughout the company, RKW also backs a large number of local projects at the production locations. The sustainability report features examples that play a part in saving resources, cutting emissions, and increasing recycling.”

(Dr. Thomas Gröner, Director of R&D and Sustainability at the RKW Group)

Sustainability competition: Caring for the environment

Recycling is also a key focus area at RKW. Every RKW location operates its own recycling facilities. They process almost the entire unavoidable production waste to produce high-quality recycled granules. Since 2012, the RKW locations have taken part in a sustainability competition.

Examples like this demonstrate that the company’s success and its responsibility towards the environment go hand in hand. In 2019, we once again won an award for our work: The customer Ontex Global acknowledged the outstanding achievements of the RKW Group in the area of sustainability by presenting it with the “Excellence in Sustainability 2019” award.

And the winner is …

RKW Echte and RKW SFE were presented with the sixth RKW Sustainability Award.