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Blue planet, inexperienced concepts | Extra “sustainable” packaging hits cabinets

Pristine white milk containers will quickly be a factor of the previous for Nutrinor. The Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean dairy cooperative is altering most of its packaging for a extra ecological product, a gesture which can nevertheless have a low impression, explains an knowledgeable.

All sorts of milk in 1 liter and a pair of liter codecs bottled since January 10 are in multilayer containers fabricated from non-bleached cardboard, which provides them a pure shade.

These new packaging additionally comprise much less materials than the earlier ones – for instance, they haven’t any shiny coating on the surface, which provides them a special texture – and require fewer manufacturing steps, which reduces their carbon footprint by half. , helps the corporate.

Nutrinor says nevertheless that it doesn’t know if a life cycle evaluation has been carried out to substantiate this assertion..

The remaining greenhouse gasoline (GHG) emissions are offset by the acquisition of carbon credit by the producer Elopak, which thus claims that the packaging is carbon impartial.

“The objective is to cut back this compensation and probably scale back these emissions at supply to have carbon impartial packaging that isn’t partially carbon offset, however the expertise has not reached that time”, defined in a interview with The Press Michael Norman, CEO of Nutrinor.


Michael Norman, CEO of Nutrinor

Simply because we have launched carbon impartial packaging does not imply all of the work is completed.

Michael Norman, CEO of Nutrinor

The cooperative additionally says it’s working with its provider to cut back the environmental impression of its different packaging, corresponding to cream cartons or plastic milk baggage.

Minimal impact

Laudable because the initiative is, it should have solely a minimal impact on the general environmental impression of milk, underlines engineer Catherine Houssard, analysis officer on the Worldwide Reference Middle for the Evaluation of the Life and Sustainable Transition (CIRAIG), in Montreal.

“It is a very small half, it is a begin,” she says, explaining that environmental air pollution from fertilizers and pesticides used within the dairy business is larger than that linked to product packaging. .

“Customers nonetheless imagine that environmental points are tied to packaging,” prompting firms to behave on this side first, she says.

Nutrinor is effectively conscious of this, assures Michael Norman, recalling that the cooperative adopted in 2020 its “Sustainable agricultural pact”, which goals to place in place higher manufacturing strategies on the farm; all of the milk produced by Nutrinor comes from free-range cows, he illustrates.

The place we may act shortly was when it comes to packaging; it’s one step amongst many others.

Michael Norman, Nutrinor

“To struggle in opposition to the massive gamers, it’s a must to be completely different,” says Mr. Norman, saying he’s betting that on the identical worth – as a result of these modifications are made with out growing the costs, he assures -, customers will favor a extra sturdy product.

The cooperative doesn’t disguise the truth that it hopes by way of these initiatives to extend its place on the cabinets outdoors of Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean, the place solely its natural merchandise are distributed for the second.

Carbon footprint

Nutrinor additionally offsets GHG emissions associated to the transport of milk, “from farm to market”, which quantity to 1,340 tonnes yearly.

However this discount within the carbon footprint of the dairy cooperative, even added to that linked to the change of packaging, isn’t important both, signifies Houssard.

“Once we scale back the carbon footprint [de l’emballage]we scale back lower than 3% of the impression”, says the specialist, who provides that transport additionally represents round 3%.

Mainly, it is 6% of the impression of the milk bottle.

Catherine Houssard, analysis officer at CIRAIG

That stated, Quebec milk has “one of many lowest carbon footprints on the earth,” at 0.93 kilograms of carbon dioxide equal (kg eq. CO2) per liter, whereas the world common is round 2 kg eq. CO2she factors out.

Including transport, processing, bottling, supply and losses, the entire carbon footprint reaches 1.3 kg eq. CO2.

Carbon offset criticized

Catherine Houssard believes that the efforts of the dairy business should be highlighted, however is worried about claims of carbon neutrality, that are multiplying in commerce on the whole.

“There isn’t any customary, certification out there for carbon neutrality”, which opens the door to greenwashing, she explains.

“We discover ourselves like 10 years in the past with ‘inexperienced’ merchandise, the place everybody began to make a lot of in-house labels, and ultimately, we misplaced client confidence”, recollects the researcher specializing in agri-food sector.

She provides that we should first work to cut back GHG emissions to the minimal doable earlier than offsetting these which can be unattainable to remove.

Study extra

  • 1051
    Variety of dairy farmers within the Nutrinor cooperative

    Supply: Nutrinor

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