Valio deploying plant-based cartons beyond dairy

Valio deploying plant-based cartons beyond dairy

Finnish dairy maker Valio has confirmed that all of its milk, sour milk, cream and yoghurt cartons sold in Finland are now 100% plant-based.

Back in 2015, Valio said it became the first company in the world to start using plant-based cartons.

At the time, it aimed to make all the 250 million gable top milk, sour milk, cream and yoghurt cartons sold in Finland to be fully plant-based by the end of 2018.

The company said it has now achieved this aim with cartons currently being made from fully plant-based materials. Valio said that it now plans to expand the use of plant-based packaging in other products.

With the new plant-based cartons, CO2 emissions, compared to traditional materials, are reduced by 3,140 tonnes every year.

According to Valio’s Packaging Development Manager Tanja Virtanen-Leppä, this is enough to drive the trip from Helsinki to Kittilä, Lapland and back over 10,000 times.

The cartons’ cardboard and plastic parts are all made of plant-based materials. Cartons are made of wood-fibre cardboard.

The renewable plastic used to make the caps and to line the carton is made from plant ethanol, which is a side flow of the sugarcane industry. There needs to be a thin layer of plastic to make sure the liquid stays fresh in the carton.

Next, Valio intends to expand the use of plant-based packaging in other products.

“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,” said Virtanen-Leppä.

“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.”

In addition to Valio Finland, Valio Sweden has already changed its yoghurt cartons to plant-based packages.