The brand Finnish company Arla Oy has introduced packaging that uses wood-derived bioplastic for its milk products, replacing the inner layers of polyethylene and aluminum plastic found in tetra briks. This innovation responds to calls for the use of single-material containers, which are more easily recyclable than composite ones.

Arla’s new single-material containers use an inner layer of bioplastic, which is obtained from tall oil. The talloil a residue that is generated in the production of pulp for the manufacture of paper. As it is a residue, it does not require the cutting of additional trees, but instead leads to a more efficient use of the raw material. The bioplastic layer can be 100% recycled together with the outer cardboard of the container. The tetrabrik milk containers, common on supermarket shelves, use, instead, 70% cardboard, 20% polyethylene, and 5% aluminum, so its recycling process is much more complex.

The Arla brand plans to bring 40 million items to supermarkets with the new packaging – in milk, yogurt and other dairy products – in 2019, and save the emission of 7,730 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere.