Arla to bring 40 million wood-based packages into supermarkets

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In Finland, Arla has been the first company in Finland to use renewable wood-based bioplastics in gable top paperboard cartons for milk, yogurt and cooking products. The tall oil-based raw material is a Finnish innovation by UPM.

“When we have a liquid product such as milk, a thin plastic film is needed inside the carton for reasons of product safety and shelf life. In our new packaging, the source of plastic is now even more responsible because it is made of wood-based raw material,” says Arla’s Brand & Category Manager, Sanna Heikfolk.

Bioplastic is well suited to dairy product packaging as it has the same technical characteristics as the conventional plastic used in cartons. Like the old material, the new packaging can be recycled with cardboard.

UPM’s Lappeenranta biorefinery utilises tall oil that is a residue of pulp production in the raw material for the new bioplastic cartons. The packaging is made by Elopak, and the Dow Chemical Company is also involved in the collaboration. The use of wood-based bioplastics in Arla’s gable top cartons reduces the need for fossil-based plastics by 180,000 kilogrammes per year while also reducing the packaging’s carbon footprint by about a fifth.