Fresh Food

Meeting Consumer Demands for Sustainable Dairy Packaging

Cheese case
Photograph: Shutterstock

The increasing demand from consumers for more sustainable product packaging is one of the key challenges that food retailers face in today’s environment.

Research from AMC Global and Opinion Route found that 45% of U.S. consumers said they are making more sustainable choices when shopping, and will continue to do so, while 23% of U.S. consumers said they would purchase more from brands that use sustainable packaging, as reported in Packaging World.

In addition, Mintel’s 2021 Packaging Trends: The Rise of Responsibility report found that 57% of adults believe that brands should be using more recycled content in their packaging.

More and more grocery retailers are embracing their role in offering products that feature sustainable packaging, as part of their overall commitment to sustainability. According to FMI, 41% of its members report that they have clear objectives and implementation timeframes for package waste reduction.

Kroger Co., for example, has set a goal to use 100% recyclable, compostable and/or reusable packaging for all of its store-brand products by 2030. Aldi, meanwhile, said it plans to have 100% of its packaging be reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025, and Giant Eagle said it will completely eliminate single-use plastics from its operations by 2025.

Sustainable packaging is especially challenging in the cheese category, because of the multiple layers necessary to create the required barrier protection, as well as the food residue on packaging.

New solutions from TC Transcontinental Packaging seek to overcome those hurdles, however. The company offers two sustainable options for cheese packaging:

  • Recycle Ready Cheese Overwraps, a non-barrier secondary package that is 100% recyclable and has been pre-qualified to bear the How2Recycle label from the Sustainable Packaging Coalition. These qualities are in addition to its high durability and attractive appearance on the shelf.
  • PCR Shredded Cheese Films, which are stand-up pouches made with as much as 35% post-consumer resin and are specially designed for retail packs of shredded cheese.

“Opting for a package made with recycled package waste for your dairy packaging can help you achieve your sustainability goals, and create a circular economy for plastics, diverting plastic waste from landfills,” said Rebecca Casey, senior VP of marketing and strategy at TC Transcontinental Packaging, in a video created for the Global CheeseExpo.

In addition, TC Transcontinental Packaging works with retailers and cheese makers to find solutions that meet their specific needs. The company can conduct a Life Cycle Assessment of individual products that evaluates the environmental impact across the entire life of the product, from ingredients and transportation to end-of-life options for the packaging.

TC Transcontinental Packaging has a team of more than 20 product development engineers who can help identify opportunities in sustainable solutions. It can conduct a range of analytical and physical testing to ensure that product packaging meets objectives around performance, cost considerations and sustainability.

“Today young consumers are aware of the impact their actions have on the environment and the effect plastic waste has on their planet,” said Casey. “We can provide sustainable packaging options that are recyclable or compostable.”

For more information about how to make dairy packaging more sustainable, visit TC Transcontinental Packaging.

This post is sponsored by TC Transcontinental Packaging


Get today’s need-to-know grocery industry intelligence. Sign up to receive texts from Winsight Grocery Business.