Finnish dairy producer, Valio, became the first company in the world to sell products to consumers in carton packaging made entirely from plant-based materials. Consumers are able to buy these packages at retail shops in Finland from mid-January.
The package, Tetra Rex® Bio-based, is manufactured solely from a combination of plastics derived from plants and paperboard. It marks a world first, and signals an important milestone in the packaging sector seeking products with stronger environmental performance.
Valio will trial the package with Valio Eila® lactose free semi-skimmed milk drink in retail outlets across Finland until mid-March, and will then use feedback from consumers to decide whether to adopt the cartons more broadly across its chilled product range.
“Valio is committed to increasing the share of renewable resources in its packaging material. We share a common vision of innovation and environmental responsibility with Tetra Pak and we are proud to be the first in the world to make our products available in a fully renewable carton package,” says Elli Siltala, marketing director at Valio.
The products will be available in one-litre capacity Tetra Rex Bio-based packages, with a TwistCap™ OSO 34 opening. They will be produced at Valio’s Jyväskylä dairy in Finland, using a standard Tetra Pak TR/28 filling machine.
“To finally see fully renewable packages on shop shelves is a fantastic feeling … and bears testimony to the focused efforts of the many customers, suppliers and Tetra Pak employees involved in making this a reality,” says Charles Brand, executive vice president of Product Management & Commercial Operations for Tetra Pak.
“We have been gradually increasing the use of renewable materials in our packages over the years, and that work will continue, as we look for ways to extend the fully-renewable concept to other parts of our portfolio without compromising safety, quality or functionality.”
In Tetra Rex Bio-based cartons, the low density polyethylene used to create the laminate film for the packaging material and the neck of the opening, together with the high density polyethylene used for the cap, are all derived from sugar cane. These plastics, like the TwistCap™ OSO 34 opening certified paperboard, are traceable to their origins.
The Tetra Rex fully renewable package can be identified by the words “Bio-based” printed on the gable of the package.