A conventional milk carton is usually about 85% paperboard. We wanted to launch a type of packaging that would be 100% wood-based and in which the plastic would also be wood based.
Finnish food manufacturer Arla Oy has claimed that it is the first company in Finland to use renewable wood-based bioplastics in gable top paperboard cartons for milk, yoghurt and cooking products. According to Arla, more than 40 million of the wood-based packages will be distributed to supermarkets this year.
Biofuels specialist UPM has provided the tall oil as a raw material used for the bioplastic. The paperboard material is made by Norwegian packaging firm Elopak.
According to Arla (@ArlaFinnish), bioplastics is well suited to dairy product packaging as it has the same technical characteristics as the conventional plastic used in cartons.
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, said Arlas Brand & Category Manager, Sanna Heikfolk.
In a statement, Arla said that the use of wood-based bioplastics in Arlas gable top cartons reduces the need for fossil-based plastics by 180,000 kilogrammes per year while also reducing the packagings carbon footprint by about a fifth.
Launching more environmentally-friendly packaging in the food industry and for consumers has been a shared goal of Arla, Elopak (@Pure_Pak) and UPM (@UPMGlobal). Arla and Elopak have been working together in this field since 2014.
A conventional milk carton is usually about 85% paperboard. We wanted to launch a type of packaging that would be 100% wood-based and in which the plastic would also be wood based, said Elopak Managing Director Juha Oksanen.
UPM Biofuels Vice President Sari Mannonen said: We are very pleased to be working with a pioneer such as Arla, with whom we can further reduce the carbon footprint of paperboard packaging for liquids using our renewable raw material, and this applies to the whole chain, up to the consumer.
Also, by using wood-based raw materials we are not competing for raw materials with the food production industry, because tall oil is a residue of pulp production.
Elsewhere, in addition to the gable top packaging, Arla is also renewing its 150g Luonoto+ yoghurt packaging by replacing the plastic pots and lids with paperboard.