Organic dairy brand launches UK’s first recycled yogurt pot

#food #packaging #environmental # material

By Mike Stones, 23-Jun-2009

The first fully recyclable dairy pots have been launched by Rachel’s, a leading UK premium organic dairy brand.

Moving from polystyrene to 60 per cent recycled PET (known as rPET) will significantly cut the amount of plastic sent to landfill, said the company. Its marketing director Steve Clarke told DairyReporter.com that: “By making the switch to r-PET we will save up to 210 tonnes of plastic per year. Better still, we are using materials that might otherwise end up in landfill.”

Using recycled plastic saves energy, cuts carbon use and reduces consumption of finite oil resources, from which new plastic is made, added Clarke.

Environmental costs

Also, Rachel’s confines its use of r-PET to material sourced from the UK so avoiding the environmental costs associated with global transportation.

Every 1 tonne of r-PET used saves about 1.5 tonnes of carbon. Using 60% r-PET cuts the carbon footprint of the new pots is by about 30%, says the company.

The company’s big pot and snack pot packs are made from a two-layer combination of an outer recyclable card and a thin inner plastic pot. It was the inner plastic pot that was previously made of polystyrene and the over-cap made of PP. But now, both are being contructed of 60 per cent recycled PET.

We became aware of the technology to make this change last autumn and have introduced it as quickly as possible,” said Clarke.

 

Earlier this year Rachel’s was voted the UK’s greenest dairy brand in an independent YouGov study.

Green credentials

The move to recyclable pots is welcomed by welcomed by retailers as consumers become more interested in environmental topics, said Clarke. A recent Nielsen survey confirmed that shoppers are starting to assess retailers’ green credentials. More than 40% of respondents said that they would try to buy products that are ethically produced or kinder to the environment.

63% of respondents said that they would change to a new brand if the alternative had recycled or recyclable packaging.

Meanwhile, Rachel’s is campaigning for all local councils to accept its rPET yogurt pots for recycling not just plastic bottles. “Our campaign aims raise awareness of the difficulty with recycling yogurt pots. In theory PET or rPET yogurt pots are recyclable but closing the recycling loop relies on all parties doing their bit,” said Clarke.

“If more people buy r-PET yogurt pots, more local councils will be able to accept them for recycling. By signing our pledge consumers will be letting their local councils know that they are committed to recycling their yogurt pots. We hope that will encourage more local councils to allow r-PET yogurt pots into the recycling stream.”

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