Finnish dairy products manufacturer Valio has achieved one of its sustainable goals through expanding the use of plant-based cartons for its gable top milk, sour milk, cream and yoghurt products.
In 2015, Valio first launched plant-based carton, Tetra Rex, which is used for Valio Luomu organic milk and sour milk.
At that time, the company has decided to use plant-based cartons for gable top milk, sour milk, cream and yoghurt cartons sold in Finland by the end of 2018 and now attained its goal.
Valio is also planning to expand the use of plant-based packaging for other products in its line.
Valio is said to sell around 250 million gable top milk, sour milk, cream and yoghurt cartons per year in Finland.
The cardboard and plastic parts of the carton are produced by using plant-based materials, while cartons are made by using wood-fibre cardboard.
The renewable plastic used for the caps and to line the carton is made by using plant ethanol, which is a side flow of the sugarcane industry.
Valio is also planning to produce carbon-neutral milk to reduce environmental effect. Major portion of the dairy product’s carbon footprint is formed in primary milk production.
During spring 2019, Valio and the Baltic Sea Action Group will start to train dairy farms in carbon farming.
Valio is also currently involved in studying ways to produce plant-based juice cartons, which use a thin layer of special plastic that protects the vitamin C in the juice.
Valio Sweden is already using plant-based cartons for its yoghurt cartons, and is also planning to use plant-based packaging for other milk products.
Valio packaging development manager Tanja Virtanen-Leppä 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.”