Danone adopts green packaging technology in Canada

Danone adopts green packaging…
Danone Canada has announced two major innovations in packaging: a new ecological manufacturing process for its individual serving products, called ‘expansion’, and the use of an ecological high-density polyethylene for its drinkable yogurt packaging.

These innovations are in direct response to Danone’s corporate objective of reducing the company’s carbon footprint by 30% 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,” said Anne-Julie Maltais, manager of external communications for Danone, Canada.

The ‘expansion’ process involves adding an inert agent in the polystyrene plastic — this agent forms a thin layer of foam in the polystyrene, thereby reducing the overall density of the plastic from approximately 18%. Therefore, the weight of the individual serving packages of Activia, Stonyfield, Silhouette and Creamy brands is reduced by the same percentage.

“To date, we’ve applied this packaging process to 40% of our individual serving yogurts, and we are targeting complete integration by June 2011,” said Ms Maltais.

The ecological version of high-density polyethylene is made from sugar cane instead of hydrocarbon. With this bioplastic, Danone will reduce the CO2 footprint of drinkable yogurt containers by 55% (DanActive, Danacol, Danino Go and Drinkable Activia). Plus, this bioplastic is 100% recyclable. In spite of the fact that it generates additional manufacturing costs for the company, Danone will adopt it gradually to achieve complete integration by the end of 2011.

“The packaging for Danone products accounts for 40% 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” said Ms Maltais.