The ComeBac project, for reusable chocolate packaging
PACKAGING: A REAL CHALLENGE
At Valrhona, we have long wanted to have a positive impact on the environment. This is one of the reasons why we have committed to making our chocolate factory carbon neutral by 2020, as well as our entire value chain – from plantation to plate – by 2025. For years now, our employees have been working to reduce our waste, eco-design our products, reduce the weight of our packaging and make them recyclable.
But one issue remains: the waste that we leave in our customers' kitchens with our packaging and shipping cartons, as we are well aware of the congestion they generate and the time they waste. This is why, in 2019, a group of Valrhona employees – convinced that single-use is environmental nonsense – decided to look into this matter and to rethink our packaging using a circular economy logic. We had one goal: to improve our customers' experience by taking full responsibility for our waste. That is how the ComeBac project was born.
RECYCLING IS NOT ENOUGH. WE MUST MOVE TOWARD A REUSE APPROACH
COMEBAC, OUR REAL-LIFE TEST
The idea with ComeBac is to put an end to our disposable packaging and to deliver our customers Valrhona chocolate beans in reusable bins, which we recover, clean and put back into service. We are going to start testing this idea from September 2020 with 100 customers in Lyon and six couverture chocolate products. The purpose of this test is to verify that:
- The customer experience of delivery in reusable containers is better than that of our bags received in boxes
- The environmental performance of this reusable container solution, including return logistics and cleaning, is better than the initial scenario
- We have the capacity to roll out a solution where the number of rotations is sufficient to guarantee good economic and environmental performance
- We have identified technologies and players that we have the capacity to integrate into an operational solution
In August 2019, we responded to ADEME's call for projects relating to eco-design in Auvergne Rhône-Alpes, and ComeBac was selected. ADEME is the French Agency for Ecological Transition, which works on all fronts to mobilize citizens, economic players and territories toward a resource-efficient, low-carbon, fairer, and more harmonious society. We are delighted that they have chosen to finance our project and excited to benefit from their support.
THE PROJECT: A NEW REUSABLE PACKAGING SOLUTION
COMEBAC, A COLLECTIVE AMBITION...
ComeBac won't be perfect from the beginning, but we want to develop this project together with our customers and improve it as we gain more experience. Above all, we have a vision; we want to drive a collective movement that unites all food industry players around the circular economy, for food that tastes good, feels good, and looks good. If you would like more information about the project, feel free to write to us at email@example.com.