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Article | April 30, 2009
Atkins extends 'low-carb' commitment to its packaging
Wind power and FSC certification drive its carton-based packaging effort.
Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., Denver, reports that it has made the packaging for its popular snack bars and shakes more eco-friendly. Atkins has improved its green packaging profile by choosing a snack bar carton manufacturer, All Packaging Company (APC, www.allpack.com), that supports wind power through the purchase of carbon offsets. In addition, the snack bar cartons are now only produced with Forest Stewardship Council (FSC, www.fscus.org)-certified paperboard. This certification requires chain of custody proof that the forest sources are managed responsibly and sustainably. For its shake line, Atkins continues to employ Tetra Pak (www.tetrapak.com) cartons, and its paperboard shake wrappers have received third-party validation to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) for its sustainable fiber-sourcing practices. Snack bar carton manufacturer All Packaging Company has purchased carbon offset rights equivalent to the emissions created from 1.4 million kilowatt hours of APC's 2008 electricity purchases. NativeEnergy (www.nativeenergy.com) has purchased, on APC's behalf, the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) generated by a Farmer Distributed Wind project in Minnesota. The farmers use the offset funds to help pay for the cost of building and maintaining wind turbines, and then sell the electricity generated by the turbine pool to the local utility, by transfer to the national grid. As a result, APC has received the rights to the expected wind energy produced during the next 20 years. This ownership enables APC, and its customers such as Atkins, to use the logo "Carton Made With Wind Energy" on its cartons. MeadWestvaco Corp. (www.meadwestvaco.com), which manufactures both the paperboard and wrapper used for Atkins’ shake cartons, has been certified as following sustainable fiber-sourcing practices. The company received chain of custody certification to the SFI program and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) chain of custody standards. Complementing these new efforts, Atkins continues to use Tetra Pak cartons for its shake line instead of cans or plastic bottles. According to Tetra Pak, the cartons deliver a significant savings in terms of energy, waste, and greenhouse gas output when compared to equivalent-sized bottles or cans. In fact, Tetra Pak notes that Atkins can ship an equal amount of shakes using 14% fewer trucks for transport when using Tetra Pak cartons versus cans.
"Choosing manufacturers that are cognizant of their impact on the environment is another way Atkins can respond to consumer requests for more efficient, eco-friendly packaging for our products," says Jennifer McGhee, vice president of marketing for Atkins. "Whether it's by creating delicious and healthy low-carbohydrate bars and shakes, to lowering our carbon footprint through changes to product packaging, Atkins truly embraces 'low-carb' living."
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