Iconic vegan spread brand Flora, which removed all dairy from its products last year, has unveiled what’s thought to be a world-first – plastic-free, recyclable paper tubs for its plant butter spreads. Parent company Upfield has collaborated with Footprint to produce this more sustainable packaging, which is waterproof and oil-proof.
Roll-out of the new paper packaging began in Austria towards the end of last year, with plans to expand into more European countries this year. More Upfield brands are also expected to adopt the packaging. It’s part of an overall strategy to use the new plastic-free tubs to replace up to two billion plastic tubs by 2030, and combat 25,000 tonnes of plastic waste each year. As more Upfield brands adopt the packaging, which includes other vegan products such as Violife vegan cheese, Upfield aims to reduce plastic use across all its brands by 80 percent.
‘A true milestone’
Karina Cerdeira, Head of Packaging for Upfield, said: “This new paper tub marks a true milestone for sustainable packaging that significantly minimizes reliance on plastic. We will continue pushing boundaries through further innovation to adapt for compostability, develop new sizes and formats, and refine toward the optimal solution. We hope what we’ve achieved inspires other businesses to keep pursuing positive change.”
It reportedly took four years of innovation and development with Footprint to produce this new packaging. Using Footprint’s material sciences technology, the paper tubs are created using compressed wet paper fibers and they can be recycled via local paper recycling. The paper is sourced from PEFC-certified suppliers, and Upfield also expects these tubs to be home compostable-certified by 2025. The tub has received Conventional Plastic Free Certification.
David Haines, Group CEO for Upfield, said, “As a global leader in plant-based foods, we take our responsibility to make a positive impact on the world seriously. Globally, 40 percent of all plastic produced is for packaging that is used once and then discarded, it is clear that the issue of plastic waste is one of the most critical facing our environment.
Flora made the decision last year to remove dairy from all its line of products and only use vegan ingredients. This, coupled with the move to sustainable paper packaging, means Flora appears to be making genuine strides to reduce its impact on the planet.
Upfield does still sell dairy products, including ProActiv and I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!. Cow-derived ingredients contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the dairy industry. The industry is also driving deforestation, uses vast amounts of water, and causes pollution. However, Upfield has stated it plans to phase out the use of dairy in its products.
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