NETHERLANDS – FrieslandCampina has announced that it will be making PET bottles from 100% recycled material from February this year in line with its ambitious goal of becoming climate-neutral by 2050.

The dairy cooperative claims that a wholesale move to recycled PET (rPET) for the bottles will prevent the production of nearly 1.9 million kilos of new plastic.

As PET bottles can only be recycled if the consumer has removed the label, FrieslandCampina has also developed a new ‘zipper’ that makes it easier to separate labels from the bottle.

Patrick van Baal, global director packaging development at FrieslandCampina, said: “With the 100% recycled PET bottle, FrieslandCampina is taking a new step in making its packaging circular.

This step, he said,  is crucial because in order for FrieslandCampina to  achieve its sustainability goals, “all packaging must first become recyclable and/or reusable.”

FrieslandCampina says that it previously made the decision to switch to PET for all its drinking bottles because PET can potentially be made fully circular, is lightweight and has a low carbon footprint.

With the latest design changes, FrieslandCampina claims that it will be the first company in the dairy sector to make its bottles ‘virtually’ circular for its brands in the Netherlands, Belgium, the UK and Hungary.

The decision to migrate to rPET follows a announcement by the dairy cooperative that its Dutch Campina brand products would be produced using green energy generated by its farmers from 1 January this year.

FrieslandCampina at the time said that in collaboration with its member farmers it had been working on the transition to green energy for many years with now having over 3,000 of them generating green energy.

In 2020, member dairy farmers of FrieslandCampina reportedly generated a total of over 500 GWh of green electricity, which equals the annual energy consumption of more than 184,000 Dutch households.

The company is also implementing solar and wind electricity generation programmes to further accelerate its sustainable energy generation on the farm.

In August 2019, the company installed its first small wind mill on the farmyard of the dairy farm Poppe in Zwolle as part of a programme that offers its member dairy farmers the opportunity to install small windmills to make their own farm self-sufficient with energy.

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