Arla Foods to develop 100% recyclable plastic milk crates to reduce carbon footprint

DENMARK – Europe’s largest dairy cooperative, Arla Foods will be introducing milk crates made from 100 per cent recycled plastic in a move that seeks to cut on the dairy giant’s CO2 emmisons.

Arla plans to introduce 300,000 of the new milk crates in the coming year, targeting to replace about 2-3 million of Arla’s milk crates used in Denmark.

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Through the drastic makeover of the milk crates, the dairy cooperative will reduce CO2 emissions by at least 30 per cent, and saving 250,000 kilos of CO2 in the first year alone.

However, the company noted that new crates will have some changes in appearance “as the transition not only makes the crates greener, their colour is changing to black.

This is because the plastic used for the crates is recycled from the car industry, which cannot be produced in the former iconic green colour, Arla explains.

“We’re very devoted to making our dairy products more sustainable, and climate friendly packaging is a central part of the solution,” says Jakob B. Knudsen, head of Arla Denmark.

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“We’re of course aiming to produce as few new milk crates as possible, but when new ones are needed, it’s important for us to make the greenest choice even though it means we have to go with a darker look.”

The move marks yet another major step that Arla is taking towards its ambitious climate goal to become completely carbon neutral by 2050.

Over the past years, Arla has adopted several initiatives to make the milk crates more sustainable, including collecting and reusing broken crates.

Last year 100,000 milk crates were found and returned safely. In Denmark, the milk crates transport millions of litres of fresh milk to the Danish consumers.

In March this year, the Denmark-headquartered cooperative announced ambitions of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 30% per kg of milk over the next decade, initially committing to reduce emissions from its packaging by approximately 8,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.

As a business, the company is also stepping up its transformation to more sustainable operations using non-fossil fuels, renewable energy, sustainable packaging and less waste with a wide range of new initiatives to be launched over time.

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