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Dairy is First in South Africa to Use Bio-Based Closure

A new package for Woodland Dairy’s extended shelf-life milk is made from 80% renewable materials and uses a closure partly made from bio-based material, making it 100% recyclable.

Woodlands Dairy carton
The new carton for Woodland Dairy's First Choice ESL milk is made from 80% renewable material and has a cap engineered partly from bio-based plastics.

One of the largest milk producers in South Africa, Woodlands Dairy has become the first in that country to introduce a package with a bio-based closure for extended shelf life (ESL) milk.

Sporting a bio-based closure along with a new look and feel, including messaging on the package’s sustainability attributes, Woodland Dairy says the new packaging for its First Choice Fresh ESL milk is another move by the company to show its commitment to making small changes for the greater good and earnestly driving its sustainability agenda.

Woodlands Dairy partnered with its ESL packaging supplier, Nampak, to bring the package to market.

Says Marisa Maccaferri, Marketing Manager for Woodlands Dairy and First Choice, “This relaunch is not our first in our sustainability journey. Besides all the initiatives at our mega plant in Humansdorp in the Eastern Cape, we were the first in the country to move to bio-based packaging materials on most of our UHT products. The new ESL pack closures are partly made from plastics derived from plant-based material. Plant-based or bio-based materials are made from renewable resources that can be sustainably planted and harvested, such as sugarcane. Our cartons are also greener and made from more than 80-percent plant-based raw materials, which ensures that the whole pack is now 100-percent recyclable. We truly believe in reducing our impact on the environment, and these new closures and packs will ultimately help us do just that.

Read more about bio-based plastics in these articles from Packaging World:

“New Materials, Market Pressures to Drive the Global Growth of Bioplastics”

“Bio-PE Used in Boulder Clean’s Laundry Detergent Bottle”

“Beverage is Plant-Based, Inside and Out”

“Lids Formed from a Biocomposite”

“From a quality perspective, we use the Pure-Lac Ultra Pasteurization system to reduce the microbial count beyond normal pasteurization methods without any chemical treatment, loss of nutrients, or compromises on the great milk taste. Nutrients in milk are sensitive to light, which is why the paperboard carton of our First Choice ESL milk is the ideal way to preserve the goodness of milk. All of these quality measures help us extend the shelf life of our fresh milk to 35 days from date of manufacture.”

According to Maccaferri, consumers are increasingly becoming eco-conscious and demand recyclability, sustainability, and eco-friendliness from the brands they buy. “We can’t agree more,” she says. “Most plastics still use non-renewable, petroleum-based resources such as oil as a key ingredient, which has a negative impact on the environment. Packs made from renewable materials are the obvious choice as it’s both eco-friendly and sustainable.”

The new packaging is striking and fresh, says Woodlands Dairy. The QR code on the back of the pack will help consumers find their nearest paper recycling bank so they can do their part for the environment. The rollout of the new packaging will begin in the Eastern Cape, with other provinces following suit.

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