Arla Foods develops first biodegradable fibre-based milk carton lids

Arla Foods has developed the UK’s first biodegradable fibre-based milk carton lid as it looks to take the ongoing war against plastic packaging to the next level.

Chief commercial officer Peter Giørtz-Carlsen said improving Arla’s packaging is “imperative” as customers are becoming increasingly invested in reducing plastic waste, which led to the dairy company teaming up with Blue Ocean Closures to develop a new cap for its milk cartons.

The new caps are made from a fibre material which is both biodegradable and recyclable.

“This project to explore what could very well be the first fibre-based cap on milk cartons is very exciting and shows that we at Arla are constantly looking to improve and lead the transformation of sustainable packaging,” he added.

The collaboration aims to reduce the dairy cooperative’s plastic consumption by 500 tonnes annually as part of its commitment to eliminate fossil-based virgin plastic in packaging by 2030.

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In 2020, Arla tried to remove lids from its organic range but received negative customer reviews.

“We know that consumers like the convenience a cap provides and while we have removed the cap completely from some of our ranges, we acknowledge this need and want to provide a choice for consumers. But if we have to have a cap, we want to create the best possible one and that is what we are doing now,” said Giørtz-Carlsen.

Arla has also recently removed coloured milk bottle caps, replacing them with clear tops in a bid to improve recycling rates and limit plastic waste.

“As the UK’s largest dairy co-operative, we are committed to our climate journey and focussed on reducing emissions throughout production, transport and logistics, packaging, and on farm, ” Arla head of milk, organic and yoghurt, Catriona Mantle, told The Grocer.

“We are continuously exploring new ways to reduce our climate impact from our packaging material and are pleased to confirm we will be introducing clear caps across our milk portfolio from early June 2023, which will see nearly 1,000 tonnes of food-grade plastic being retained in the circular system.”

Circular economyFood and farmingInnovationMaterials and packagingNews

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