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Guelph-based dairy launches North America’s first zero-carbon milk carton

The Organic Meadow two-litre packaging is changing as the Guelph-based company moves to reduce their carbon footprint
20211026 Milk
One of the new carbon-neutral two-litre milk cartons from Organic Meadow comes off the line.

Organic Meadow customers will begin to notice a change in the company’s packaging as the Guelph-based farmer-owned co-operative announced Monday it is transitioning its two-litre organic milk to a carbon-neutral paperboard.

The move marks the first of its kind launch in North America and the first carbon-neutral carton of its kind in North America following a series of successful launches in European markets.

For these cartons Organic Meadows partnered with Elopak, a global supplier of carton packaging and filling equipment that uses renewable, recyclable, and sustainability-sourced materials, to produce carbon-neutral sustainable packages.

“From the moment we learned of a carbon-neutral packaging option for milk, we were immediately committed to adopting it,” said Maurice Bianchi, vice-president sales and marketing, in a news release. “We’re extremely proud to be the first dairy in North America to bring this innovative new carton to. Canadians and we hope that our actions will inspire others to join us on a journey toward a more sustainable future.”

Recognizable by its brown hue, this innovative package is made from natural and unbleached FSC-certified paperboard.

Due to the way the carton is produced, it generates 27 per cent fewer CO2 emissions and is 18 per cent lighter compared to traditional milk cartons.

“It significantly lowers the lowest two-litre carbon footprint out there, and the balance of those emissions are then offset through a series of projects that get this to a net zero-footprint,” said Michelle Schmidt, senior marketing manager.

The remaining carbon emissions are reduced to net zero through verified protection carbon offset programs resulting in a certified carbon-neutral package. 
This change in packaging reduces a layer in the carton, resulting in less material and contributing to a smaller footprint from Organic Meadows.

Organic Meadow Zero-Carbon two litre organic milk cartons are available in five varieties and with production underway, consumers can expect to find the new cartons rolled out across Ontario at major grocers as early as Thursday.

Schmidt said Organic Meadow has a long-standing history of working with Elopak, and discussions started about a year ago to incorporate the carton into the North American market.

“Being an organic brand, and them having a line of sight of what our priorities are as an organization, they first brought this forward to us and we immediately jumped at the opportunity to learn more,” said Schmidt.

After several tests from both a production standpoint and best adapting their artwork to work with the substrate, discussions and partnerships were formed.

“We are finally at the finish line, and to our pleasant surprise we are not only the first in Canada to get to the finish line, but the first in North America,” said Schmidt. “We are really excited to be the first ones out of the gate and bring this to Canadians.”




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Daniel Caudle

About the Author: Daniel Caudle

Daniel Caudle is a journalist who covers Guelph and area
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