WhiteWave Foods, the Broomfield-based company that makes Silk(R), Horizon(R), International Delight(R), Fruit2day(R), and LAND O LAKES(R)* branded liquid dairy products, reported the first in a series of incremental changes which significantly reduce the environmental impact of its "creamer singles" product packaging, in pursuit of its goal to become the Earth's favorite food company.
Creamer singles provide consumers with a convenient, single portion of shelf-stable creamer for their coffee and are found nationwide at the coffee bars of convenience stores, cafeterias, quick serve restaurants, and also in retail packs at grocery locations, warehouse clubs, and online.
The first stage of the package redesign involves re-structuring the layers of plastic to allow the removal of material currently used in the creamer singles cups, called polyvinylidene chloride (PVdC). This material has traditionally been used due to its ability to keep product fresh for a long period of time. However, the potential long-term environmental impacts of PVdC have led some countries to restrict or even ban its use in packaging. While not banned in the U.S., WhiteWave is pursuing removing PVdC from its packaging in its ongoing efforts to make more sustainable choices.
Until recently, there have been limited, viable substitutes for PVdC that could withstand the rigors of processing and maintain the necessary protective properties without adding bulk to the package. But by working closely with its vendors to innovate and test alternate packaging, WhiteWave's Research and Development (R&D) group was able to develop a more earth-friendly packaging solution without impacting the product's customer-guaranteed shelf-life.
WhiteWave is one of the largest producers of creamer singles in North America, primarily through its International Delight and LAND O LAKES brands. By removing PVdC, the creamer singles will use less overall material in the cup structure, which will result in:
n the elimination of 1.1 million pounds of material from landfills every year
n more efficient shipping, as less material requires fewer truckloads and fuel; specifically, 33 fewer trucks of waste material and 49 fewer trucks between our suppliers and facilities
WhiteWave's R&D team is currently working on the next stage of this project, which is focused on studying the ability to reclaim and reuse post-industrial scrap from the manufacturing process to make additional creamer singles packages, which would help lighten the package's environmental footprint even more when complete.
The International Delight brand in particular is not new to sustainable packaging initiatives. In 2009, the brand introduced a new International Delight bottle that reduced the bottle's carbon footprint by 30 percent by increasing transportation efficiency and integrating materials that require less energy and water to produce.
"We're always looking for ways to get us closer to our mission to become the Earth's favorite food company, and packaging is a key area in which we can continue to make progress," said Mike Keown, President of Creamers. "However, a common challenge in creating more sustainable packaging is ensuring that its functionality is not compromised. With this creamer single redesign, our Research and Development team found a way to reduce our environmental footprint while maintaining the shelf-life, quality and taste that our customers and consumers have come to expect, which is a win for everyone."
About WhiteWave Foods
The mission of WhiteWave Foods is to be the Earth's favorite food company, by creating healthy, innovative, responsibly-produced foods that nurture people and the planet. WhiteWave brands include Horizon(R), the leading national organic dairy brand; and Silk(R), the national category leader in natural and organic plant-based beverages, including Silk(R) Soymilk, Silk(R) PureAlmond almond milk and Silk(R) PureCoconut coconut milk. WhiteWave also makes International Delight(R), the nation's leading provider of flavored, liquid non-dairy creamers and LAND O LAKES(R)* liquid dairy products, including America's number one nationally branded Half & Half and Fat Free Half & Half. Fruit2day(R), a fruit beverage made with real bits of fruit, is produced through a joint venture between WhiteWave and Switzerland-based Hero Group.
Based in Colorado, WhiteWave is committed to sustainability, from encouraging the use of renewable energy to reducing waste, water use and greenhouse gas emissions at its farms, plants and offices. For more information, visit WhiteWave online at www.whitewavefoods.com, explore the WhiteWave blog at www.thegrazingmind.com.