Finnish manufacturer of dairy products Valio has worked, over the years, to reduce the amount of plastic and to develop its packaging materials.
In 2015, Valio introduced 100-percent plant-based cartons to Finland’s stores. These cartons are made out of wood, and the thin protective plastic film from the sugarcane industry’s waste, i.e. excess plant parts. The caps are also fully plant-based.
"Packages have an environmental impact of only ca. two percent of the entire food product’s environmental load when it comes to carbon dioxide. Despite that, we want to reduce our packaging’s environmental load further. At the same time, we are working with dairy farms, among others, to reduce milk production’s climate emissions", says Juhana Pilkama, package development manager.
In 2019, Valio is discontinuing its use of black-dyed plastic in Finland. Current recycling devices cannot identify the black colour, which means black plastic packages don’t get recycled.
Valio’s delicacy cheeses’ new packages are now made from at least 90% recycled plastic. Over 50% of Mifu slice and Mifu jauhis packages’ plastic is recycled. The company intends to ramp up its recycled plastic usage in the future.
"Our goal is that in 2020, all Valio sliced cheese packages in Finland are made from at least 50-percent recycled plastic. In the future, roughly 10 percent of all our packaging plastic in Finland will be recycled. That matters a lot when it comes to the environment", says Juhana Pilkama