FINLAND – Valio, a prominent dairy company, has entered into a voluntary Green Deal agreement, pledging to reduce the amount of plastic in its single-use, single-serving packaging by 15% by the end of 2026, compared to the levels in 2022.

As part of this commitment, Valio will transition all Valio PROfeel quark products to recyclable paperboard cups, resulting in a significant reduction of plastic usage amounting to 143 tonnes.

The initiative aligns with the national target for reducing single-use, single-serving plastic packaging and contributes to sustainability efforts in Finland.

Over the years, Valio has actively taken steps to reduce plastic in its packaging. These measures have included eliminating detachable lids/caps, plastic spoons, and straws from single-serving packages, as well as using thinner plastic in packaging.

According to Valio’s Head of Packaging Development Juhana Pilkama, paperboard cups have been used in single-serving yoghurts, for example, already since 2021.

“Valio’s goal is that by the end of 2025, all packaging will be suitable for a truly circular economy, meaning that new products can be made from it,” Juhana Pilkama, Head of Packaging Development for Valio, said.

“We are continuously developing our packaging so that it better aligns with the circular economy and reduces its climate impact. We have added plain-language recycling instructions to our packaging to make recycling as easy as possible for everyone.”

He highlighted that the Green Deal agreement is part of Finland’s efforts to address climate challenges, biodiversity loss, and overconsumption of natural resources, and promote the circular economy.

These voluntary agreements involve collaboration between the government, businesses, and public sector actors to promote sustainable development goals without additional legislation,” he said.

Juhana also noted that Green Deal agreements can be used to strengthen or complement legislation noting that stricter targets than legislation could also be imposed by them, and certain objectives can be achieved without additional national regulation.

Voluntary agreements give us more flexibility than legislation to find the most effective, efficient, timely solutions to achieve our common goals.”

Valio’s commitment to reduce plastic in single-serving packaging is also in response to the Single-Use Plastics Directive, which came into effect in 2019.

The directive aims to reduce plastic waste, particularly in natural environments, and advance the circular economy.

Valio’s efforts contribute to this directive and demonstrate the company’s dedication to environmental sustainability.