Graham’s, The Family Dairy reduces plastic and makes Skyr more sustainable

Dungannon, Northern Ireland-based Greiner Packaging has been supplying Graham’s, The Family Dairy with packaging for almost 10 years. In 2017, it helped the Scottish dairy launch its award-winning and best-selling 190g Protein 22 cups, packed at the dairy’s Fife site. In 2020, Greiner Packaging supplied around 40% of Graham’s required volume of cups.

At the end of 2020, another supplier said that due to material shortages as a consequence of Brexit, it could not fulfil an order for cups for Graham’s popular Skyr line, launched at the start of 2018. The team at Greiner Packaging immediately stepped in to help and the end result was Graham’s adopting the new and more environmentally friendly K3® cardboard-thermoformed plastic solution for its 450g Skyr range to replace the existing in-mold label (IML) product.

Due to the skill, experience and agility of the Greiner Packaging team, within 48 hours of receiving the call from Graham’s, the artwork department had amended files for what was formerly an IML cup into a direct-print cup for a stop-gap, until the new K3® cup could be produced.

“Working with Greiner Packaging was exciting, as we turned a problem around in just one week through an innovative, low carbon solution,” says Graham’s, The Family Dairy Marketing Manager Emma Roy. “Replacing our existing IML cups with thermoformed for our Skyr product line brought many immediate benefits, reduced waste through recycling, and increased factory efficiency by improving speed on the packaging line. Moving to K3® will deliver a 58.4% reduction in plastic – saving an estimated 39 tonnes of plastic a year. In addition, we now have the continued opportunity to respond to our customers interest in sustainability and run promotions with the additional space that the inside of the K3® sleeve provides.”

Developing more sustainable packaging

As part of their business-wide climate adaptation strategy, Graham’s, The Family Dairy are promoting the sustainability success of its Skyr packaging changes on-pack with a label saying: “We’re even greener. Do you like our new packaging? It uses: 51.4% recycled content; 58.4% less plastic and produces 17% less CO2 emissions (than a standard IML cup)”. The Scottish producer has embarked on a progressive and innovative journey with their consumers to transition to net zero CO2e emission, across all of its products and business areas and includes adopting a circular approach to product development.

“We focus our product development on customer feedback and we want to take every opportunity to involve our consumer audience in our sustainability success story,” adds Emma. “We have a very engaged and committed group across the UK, called “Graham’s Taste Testers” and we know our customers are interested in every aspect of our products from flavor to sustainability.

“Our mission is to achieve net-zero CO2 e emissions by 2035 across our business thorough strategic investments that drive innovation and create economic opportunities for our colleagues and partners. We have been actively looking at ways to change our packaging to make it more sustainable and working with Greiner Packaging has enabled us to accelerate this process.

“When we had a supply challenge at the end of last year, the Greiner Packaging team was able to move so quickly to help us with implementing new packaging with recycled content. The experience means we are now already reviewing the K3® packaging for other products in our portfolio.”

Not only does Greiner Packaging’s K3® cardboard-plastic combination use considerably less plastic, it is also perfectly recyclable as the outer cardboard wrap can be easily removed and separated to enable recycling. Graham’s The Family Dairy is planning to use the printable reverse of the wrap to share the details of its sustainability journey and offer cross-promotions with end-users.

Greiner Packaging will soon be able to reduce the CO2 emissions of 450g Skyr cups still further, by introducing recycled PET (rPET) material, allowing them to have 100% recycled content in Skyr packaging.

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