Packaging and Waste


Packaging is a constant headache for us - retailers and legislation push for more and packaging with greater functionality (our most hated phrase because this always translates into something that is bad).

Care is taken to ensure that all packing used by material suppliers is kept to a minimum and can be recycled and/or reused and/or is biodegradeable.  We are looking for packaging that's from renewable resources.  And wherever possible, we work with small, local (that is Yorkshire, England) producers.

In effect, this means that wherever possible we use paper products (paperboard, corrugated and packaging), glass, steel and aluminium.  These materials are all very successfully recycled both in terms of being effectively recycled and that we're all good at actually recycling them.  Plastics on the other hand are more difficult to sort for recycling and we are all less inclined to actually recycle.

What does Steenbergs do for packaging?

Outer packaging: Most of our transit packing boxes are made by Garthwest from a recycled single board and is fully recyclable and biodegradable. 

Trays and kraft gift boxes: Our packaging trays are made from recycled board that has not been bleached or coloured and are made by Garthwest.  Tea boxes and cartons are manufactured by Encore Packaging.

Cushion packaging: transport packaging is made by Geami and Ranpak and is all paper based.  This is fully recyclable and biodegradable.

Containers: the majority of our spices are packed in glass containers made by a German business called Noelle und Campe.  They can be recycled through the normal glass recycling schemes - so go to your local recycling centre or use a kerb-side scheme run by your local authority.  Lids are made for us by Tecnocap and Capco, one is German and the other Italian.  For more on these companies, visit their web sites at, and

Tamper proof plastic seals: tamper proof seals are polyethylene and made by CCL Labels and more information can be found about them at

Labels: our labels are made for us by Norpak.  They are made from recyclable paper, printed with vegetable oil based inks and use a water-based varnish.  Since we began, the varnish has changed from petrochemical-based varnish to a water-based varnish.

Tea and spice tins: these are made from stainless steel with a tin coating, plus a varnish finish.  They are made in China.  At present, all tins come from China, which is a downside, and we ship too much air when these are transported.  On the plus side, they are reusable and recyclable.

Fabric bags: the materials, thread and ribbons are sourced in the UK for Old Hamlet Wine and Spice.  At present, we do not know the full chain of provenance; it is early days as Steenbergs has only owned this business since March 2017.


We all waste too much, so trying to cut out waste is a never ending task.  In overview, Steenbergs recycles as much as possible, then ensures that the remaining waste does not go to landfill and goes through an energy recapture route, i.e. we tackle waste this in 2 ways:

  • We are trying to reduce the amount of materials within our processes, so (for example) we do not shrink wrap our trays of products and they come in trays that are a bit higher at the sides and we have a constant battle against plastics in the business, which we are just about winning;
  • We recycle everything that can be recycled - paper, card, glass, plastics, metals and the remaining waste goes to waste-to-energy plants rather than landfill - we have a no landfill policy. 

Recycling and waste-to-energy is all done through our trade waste suppliers, Todd Environmental (now Yorwaste), who are true pioneers in the area of recycling waste rather than using land fill.  The waste-to-energy currently goes to the Netherlands but when the Allerton Waste Recovery Park is functional in July 2017 then our waste will no longer be exported and will be used closer to our factory.  Their web site is at

WARNING: Steenbergs Ltd has become aware that an identity fraudster is falsely using the Steenbergs name and head office address to offer employment and business opportunities to unsuspecting people and businesses. The fraud originates in Nigeria and is in no manner connected to Steenbergs Ltd. There is no Garry Walker or pharmaceuticals or similar business at 6 Hallikeld Close. If you are in the UK, notify Action Fraud at 0300 123 2040.