Valio has announced that all its milk, cream and yogurt cartons sold in Finland are made from fully plant-based materials.
The cartons are made from wood-fibre cardboard and the renewable plastic used to make the caps and to line the cartons is made from plant ethanol, which is a side flow of the sugarcane industry.
Valio sells around 250 million milk, cream and yogurt cartons every year in Finland. The transition to plant-based packaging is said to reduce CO2 emissions by 3,140 tonnes each year.
The firm now aims to make all its cartons out of renewable, plant-based material and is studying ways to make plant-based juice cartons.
Tanja Virtanen-Leppä, Valio packaging development manager, said: “Development of the juice carton plastic layer has gone well, and we will be able to produce nearly 100% plant-based juice cartons as soon as this year.
“Our goal is to be smart about reducing our total environmental effect: the right kinds of packages protect the products and prevent food waste, and plant-based packaging reduces the products’ carbon footprint. We are also increasing our use of recycled raw material, and encourage consumers to recycle our packaging correctly.
“Valio’s packaging development is guided strongly by the fact that people want our packages to be fully plant-based. There are also packages on the market that are only partially plant-based, with part of the raw material being fossil. In these solutions, the calculated share of plant-based material is based on the mass balance of the raw materials, not 100% renewable materials: the plastic is made with fossil oil and only a small part of the raw material is actually plant-based.”
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