Arla makes more than one billion pieces of packaging more sustainable across Europe

Arla makes more than one billion pieces of packaging more sustainable across Europe

May 13, 2019
Press Release: Arla

Dairy producer Arla is readying itself for the plastic recycling boom, in the process helping it to become truly circular with its packaging

Dairy product producer Arla is to make 600 million fresh milk cartons renewable and 560 million yogurt pots recyclable, cutting what it claims will be 7,330 tonnes of carbon.

“These items topped our list of packaging to improve from a sustainability perspective and our pan-European presence enables us to leverage our scale and impact several markets simultaneously,” stated Arla’s head of Europe, Peter Giørtz-Carlsen.

It is the first big move in Arla’s new sustainable packaging strategy. The company is targeting a CO2 reduction of 30% by 2030, initially committing to reduce emissions from its packaging by approximately 8,000 tonnes of CO2 every year until then. The ultimate aim is for its entire portfolio to be carbon net zero by 2050, in line with its overall climate ambition to become carbon net zero by 2050, announced last month.

The new packaging will be available for consumers in Arla’s six main European markets: Sweden, Denmark, Finland, the Netherlands, Germany and the UK.

The switch from fossil-based plastic to bio-based plastic derived from sugar cane or forest waste for the 600 million Arla milk cartons makes them 100% renewable. They also contribute 25% less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared to their fossil-based plastic predecessors.

Making packaging more sustainable comes with many dilemmas. For example, it has to protect food while maintaining its quality and freshness to avoid food waste. At the same time, it relies on technological developments, material availability and the systems being in place to enable a more circular flow of plastic in society.

“More than 90% of consumers think packaging should be designed to ease recycling and they want to be able to do so in their local recycling systems,” said Peter Giørtz-Carlsen, Arla’s head of Europe. “This has been a key driver of these initiatives. Currently around 90% of our packaging is possible to recycle in one of our core markets and we want to make all our packaging possible to recycle and feasible to do so in all our core markets by 2025. We are dependent on the recycling systems in markets being fully developed and when they are, we’re preparing our packaging to be ready.”

Plastic Free World Conference & Expo 2019 will take place from Thursday 27 June to Friday 28 June, at the Kap Europa, Frankfurt Messe, Frankfurt, Germany. To register for this highly focused and solutions-driven event, please click here. For sponsorship and exhibition opportunities, please email

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