Danone Canada has adopted a more eco-friendly package manufacturing process for its individual serving products' packaging, called "expansion," and bioplastic for packaging its drinkable yogurt. The co. says the packaging improvements were made in direct response to its corporate objective of reducing the company's carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2012.
"These bold environmental initiatives, which are in line with our mission and our objectives for reducing our carbon footprint, have made us completely rethink our product packaging in the interest of the environment and well-being of our consumers," says Anne-Julie Maltais, manager of external communications for Danone Canada.
The "expansion" process involves adding an inert agent in the PS plastic. This agent forms a thin layer of foam in the PS, which the co. says reduces the overall density of the plastic from approximately 18 percent. The result is a packaging weight reduction for individual servings of Activia, Stonyfield, Silhouette and Creamy brands by the same percentage.
"To date, we've applied this packaging process to 40 percent of our individual serving yogurts, and we are targeting complete integration by June 2011," says Maltais.
The new bioplastic packaging is an eco-friendly version of HDPE made from sugar cane instead of hydrocarbon. With this bioplastic, Danone will reduce the carbon footprint of drinkable yogurt containers by 55 percent (DanActive, Danacol, Danino Go and Drinkable Activia). An additional win, the co. says, is the fact that the bioplastic is 100 percent recyclable. This change is expected to incur additional manufacturing costs for the company, yet complete integration is planned by the end of 2011.
"The packaging for Danone products accounts for 40 percent of our company's ecological footprint, and is the second most important factor in terms of emissions. That's why we've such devoted efforts in research and development," says Maltais.