Sustainable Packaging for Domestic Appliance Products

Sustainable MaterialsLidl & Kaufland Asia
Up to S$30,000 in pilot fundingS$20,000 POC Development Grant
Lidl & Kaufland Asia is an importer to Lidl International (headquarters) in Neckarsulm, Germany. They help to source mainly textile and hardgoods, such as tools, consumer electronics, household electronics, office furniture, toys, and also some food products for more than 12,000 retail outlets in 32 countries in Europe and the US. Lidl Asia’s target is to achieve 100% packaging recyclability by 2025.

Expanded polystyrene (EPS) is widely used as packaging due to its lightweight, protective properties, and affordability. However, it is a pollutant as it is non-biodegradable and easily breaks down into smaller pieces, which  is then readily carried into our landscapes, waterways and oceans. The ingestion of such material harms wildlife, and can degrade further into microplastics that accumulate and transfer up the food chain thus affecting human health. Currently, the recycling of EPS is not economically viable, as the material is lightweight and bulky, resulting in difficulties in its collection and transport via curbside recycling programs.

Lidl & Kaufland Asia wants to explore alternatives to EPS packaging solutions, in order to improve overall packaging recyclability and reduce the environmental impact of its packaging. The company has worked on some possible elimination of EPS for a range of product types and now they are mainly using this type of packaging for hardgood products, including domestic appliances like oven and microwave ovens, which are usually heavy and require adequate protection during transportation. This packaging contributes around 10% of the total plastic packaging weight in all the hardgood products. Thus, an alternative material will help Lidl & Kaufland Asia get closer to its sustainability goal.

How might we replace polystyrene foam packaging for hardgood products like domestic appliances, whilst maintaining product protection and packaging performance?


Lidl & Kaufland Asia is open to different types of solutions: it can be a new material, for example, cellulose- or paper-based material, or a novel packaging solution.
Their considerations ranked in order of importance:
  • First, the proposed alternative must be demonstrably more sustainable than EPS as a packaging material. This refers to the ease of recycling and minimisation of environmental impact, using the German Packaging Act as a guide (on recyclability). It should also comply with relevant environmental regulations and standards governing packaging materials.
  • Jointly important is safety standards: the sustainable packaging must provide the same or improved protection during transportation of the goods (demonstrated via drop test, chemical test, vibration test, climate test and stacking test).
  • The new packaging should be equal or less than current volume taken by EPS packaging. Any (small) increment would be considered against a probable increment in logistics cost.
  • The price should be comparable to EPS and competitive with other market offerings. 
  • Lidl & Kaufland Asia will also consider the scalability of the solution: how the proposed packaging might be made available for their current contract manufacturers in China, and whether new capital expenditure is required for their production lines


The first phase will be a trial on one of the products for a period of 6 months. The next phase is a roll-out to all suitable product categories with the aim to fully commercialise within a further 6 months.

Resources and incentives

Lidl & Kaufland Asia is offering funding for the trial of up to S$30,000 and support the testing of the stability of the new material. 

Enterprise Singapore is augmenting this support with a S$20,000 POC development grant. This POC development grant will be made available to solution providers, both local and foreign, provided that they engage in innovation development activities in Singapore.

Info Session 

Check out the recording from our Info Session, where Lidl & Kaufland Asia shared more about their challenge statement.

Market Potential / Business Opportunity

The solution can be applied to other product categories and can also be introduced to Lidl International’s other importers outside Asia. 

Making Your Application 

Before you make an application, you will need to register an account on our platform. You will receive a confirmation email upon registration. 

Once done, you may proceed to submit your application with your credentials. You can also save your application as a draft if need.

Applications close on Wednesday, 31 January 2024 at 11.59pm (GMT+8).