Avoidance: less is more
As little packaging material as possible; as much as necessary. This guiding principle has defined the design and type of all packaging at Tchibo since 2015. The goal is to minimise the use of paper, as well as disposable packaging in the form of takeaway coffee cups and shopping bags.
Paper: digital instead of print
As part of Roadmap 2020, we are successively shifting to digital documents in our delivery documentation, for both B2B and B2C customers. For deliveries to our business partners and Tchibo shops, we have done without paper delivery documents since 2015, and even our private distance-selling customers only receive a printed invoice if they expressly request one. If the shipping address differs from the billing address, customers also receive the invoice by email instead of by post. We also primarily provide user manuals online, as long as they contain exclusively non-legal information.
Reusable cups: nice to see you again!
“Reusable before disposable” is the guideline in our Tchibo coffee bars. We mainly serve beverages in reusable porcelain tableware, and only provide coffee in disposable takeaway cups if customers specifically ask for them. We would like to further reduce the share of disposable cups and since August 2015, customers have been able to get refills in their own reusable cups, taking safe hygiene standards into account, of course.
To establish a systematic use of reusable cups, we are participating in the Kehrwieder-Becher initiative to examine the introduction of a deposit system for reusable cups in Hamburg city centre. Such a system would be more convenient for customers, as they would not have to bring their own cup.
Disposable shopping bags: better to avoid than sell
In 2015, business associations in Germany and Austria signed voluntary agreements to no longer offer plastic bags free of charge. We joined this initiative, and stopped giving out free plastic bags in Germany as of January 2016. With success: 87% fewer have been given out as a result. As an alternative, we offer reusable bags for sale, or disposable bags for 20 cents. Some of the proceeds from the sale of plastic bags go to support the Mülldetektive (Waste Detectives) project by the Save Our Future (S.O.F.) environmental foundation.