Sustainability – Babybel products now in guaranteed recycled packaging
Bel Group is partnering with TerraCycle to guarantee the recyclability of the packaging of the tens of thousands of Babybel products sold annually in Canada.
Two of its main brands—Boursin and The Laughing Cow—are produced in Canada through local dairy processors. The Mini Babybel plant in Sorel-Tracy is operated directly by Bel.
As of this summer, Babybel products, in addition to being produced in Canada, can be recycled thanks to a new program that invites consumers to participate in the recycling of products that will then be transformed to give them a second life with TerraCycle, which specializes in recycling materials that cannot be placed in the blue bin.
As a part of its mission to offer healthier and responsible food for all, Bel Group includes packaging as an element of its strategy, aiming to reduce the environmental footprint of the packaging through an innovative eco-design policy. Thus, the company has a clear objective of optimizing its packaging eco-efficiency along its full life cycle—from raw material sourcing to end of life.
Once collected, the packaging will be cleaned, melted and remolded to make new recycled products. Thanks to the new program, all components of Mini Babybel’s packaging will be recycled, including cellophane, mesh, labels, metal fasteners and wax.
The cellophane, netting and labels are recycled and then transformed into plastic pellets that will be used to make other reusable plastic objects, such as garden tools or park benches. Metal fasteners are separated from the labels and melted down to make gaskets, nuts or bolts. After being melted and filtered to remove impurities, the wax will be used to make candles.
“As part of Bel’s responsible approach, we have set ambitious goals to be achieved by 2025, including reducing our environmental footprint. To do so, we are proud to count on a new partner of choice, TerraCycle®, which offers free national recycling programs for consumers. We encourage consumers to work with us to give Mini Babybel’s packaging a second life. This program is the first step in a series of measures to protect the environment. Thanks to this partnership, which complements the recycling bin, we will be able to prevent materials from ending up in landfills,” said Cristine Laforest, General Manager of Bel Canada.
Consumers who wish to participate in the program must first register on the TerraCycle® website. Then, they would keep the nets, labels, metal fasteners, cellophane and wax from their Mini Babybel and put them in a box. When they are ready to send in their packages, they must print out a prepaid shipping label available on the website, place it on the well-sealed box and mail it to TerraCycle® free of charge. In order to transport waste in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way possible, consumers are encouraged to ship their packages only when they are full.
For each shipment of packaging, consumers earn points that can be redeemed for a donation to a non-profit organization of their choice.
About Bel Group and Bel Canada
Bel is a global family-run company piloted by its fifth generation of family leadership. Now over 150 years old, Bel is the world’s top player in the cheese portions category and a major player in the healthy snacking market. Bel wishes to contribute to building a positive agro-industrial model with all its stakeholders, one that favours healthy, sustainable and inclusive eating. Through its portfolio of iconic and international brands, such as The Laughing Cow®, Mini Babybel®, Boursin® and more than 20 other brands that are leaders in their local markets, Bel offers consumers in more than 120 countries a range of healthy snacks and culinary solutions, enabling everyone to enjoy the benefits of dairy and fruit products.