Valio has announced that it will continue its use of 100 percent renewable milk cartons after an initial test period of three months. Starting May 1, 2015, the fully renewable Tetra Rex Bio-based will be introduced for Valio Luomu organic milk and sour milk.
“We received extremely positive feedback from consumers during the test phase, so it was natural to move towards a more permanent use of fully renewable milk cartons. We have chosen to use the 100 percent renewable packages for our organic milk in the first instance because buyers of organic products in particular appreciate ecological packages,” Packaging Technology Manager of Valio, Tanja Virtanen-Leppä said.
Valio aims to increase the proportion of renewable raw material used in its packaging and ultimately looks to use milk cartons produced from 100 percent renewable raw materials across its full product range. The deployment of fully renewable packages on a large scale requires gradual roll-out due to the limited availability of the bio-based plastics required for the manufacturing process. A package produced from fully renewable materials can be identified by the marking of 100 percent renewable material.
Tetra Rex Bio-based is manufactured solely from plant-based materials. All plastics used in the package, like the Forest Stewardship CouncilTM (FSCTM) certified paperboard, are traceable to their origins — 100 percent bio-based plastic derived from sugar cane and supplied by Braskem, a leading supplier of bio-based plastics.
Consumers Appreciate Environmentally Friendly Packages
Packages produced from fully renewable materials were first tested with Valio Eila lactose free semi-skimmed milk drinks from January to March 2015. Following the trial, Valio gathered feedback from 1,500 Finnish consumers through an online survey. More than 80 percent of respondents said that they viewed fully-renewable packages as progressive thanks to the avoidance of finite natural resources. Over 90 percent of respondents said that they would like Valio milk cartons to be made from entirely renewable materials in the future. The majority of respondents said that their interest in Valio would grow in line with the company’s use of renewable packages.
A fully renewable carton package is manufactured solely from a combination of plastics derived from sugar cane and paperboard. The board is made from wood fibre, while the renewable plastic is made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and low-density polyethylene (LDPE), which are made from ethanol produced from sugar cane. By using solely renewable materials, dependence on oil is reduced and natural resources are saved.
Package Recyclability Remains The Same
The handling characteristics of the package remain unchanged and can be recycled in the same way as standard carton packages. It must be rinsed, dried, flattened, compressed and then taken into the carton recycle bin. The renewable package is not biodegradable.
Other Valio Milk Cartons Are Now More Renewable
Alongside its Valio Luomu range, the proportion of renewable raw materials in other Valio milk packages will also increase. Valio has introduced plant-based plastic screw caps and neck fixtures in all of its gable top milk packages, which are now produced from more than 88 percent renewable materials.
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