Valio was first to introduce plant-based cartons – now, 250 million cartons are fully plant-based. This week, Valio’s initiative was recognized in a global context: the World Dairy Innovation Awards celebrate and highlight the best dairy industry developments. World Dairy Innovation Award winners were announced on 26th of June at 9:15pm, at the Global Dairy Congress in Lisbon.
In 2015, Valio was the first company in the world to start using fully plant-based cartons. Now Valio has achieved its lofty goal: all of its gable top milk, sour milk, cream and yoghurt cartons sold in Finland and all yoghurt cartons sold in Sweden are fully plant-based.
This is roughly 250 million cartons every year. CO2 emissions, compared to traditional materials, are reduced by 3,140 tonnes every year. That is enough to drive the trip from Helsinki to Arctic Circle and back over 10,000 times.
– Consumers have received Valio plant-based packaging very positively. They are an easy way of helping the environment. Valio wants to help consumers in making sustainable choices in their everyday life, says Valio’s Head of Packaging Development Tanja Virtanen-Leppä.
Cartons are made of wood-fibre cardboard. The plastic used to make the caps and to line the carton is made from plant ethanol instead of fossil oil. There needs to be a thin layer of plastic coating to make sure the liquid stays fresh. Valio plant-based packaging is recycled with the existing recycling system for beverage composite cartons.
Packaging development is part of Valio’s bigger goal: Valio is aiming to carbon-neutral milk in 2035. In the spring of 2019, Valio began to train its dairy farms in carbon farming, i.e. new ways to bind carbon to the soil. New ways of using the energy in cow manure to replace fossil fuels in the future are also investigated.