Canadian Packaging

Clear thinking on new yogurt packaging

Environmental sustainability is nothing new for folks at the Londonberry, N.H.-based Stonyfield Farm, which has been producing organic, all-natural yogurt since 1983, but using bioplastic materials to package its popular, bestselling flagship brands—employing an Arcil form-fill-seal (F/F/S) packaging machine—may well be the the North American yogurt industry.


December 29, 2010
by Canadian Packaging Staff

Environmental sustainability is nothing new for folks at the Londonberry, N.H.-based Stonyfield Farm, which has been producing organic, all-natural yogurt since 1983, but using bioplastic materials to package its popular, bestselling flagship brands—employing an Arcil form-fill-seal (F/F/S) packaging machine—may well be the the North American yogurt industry.

Developed by the Elk Grove Village, Ill.-based Clear Lam Packaging, Inc. as a replacement for the traditional petroleum-based polystyrene plastic, the new EarthClear multipack yogurt cups—now being used to package the company’s oBaby, YoToddler, YoKids, B-Healthy, B-Well, Probiotic and O’Soy brands—are made primarily (93 per cent) from the corn-based Ingeo PLA (polylactic acid) polymers produced by the leading bioresins manufacturer NatureWorks LLC, with Stonyfield also launching an ‘offset’ program to produce a sustainably grown amount of corn equal to the amount used to make the cups.

“Stonyfield Farm has invested significantly in finding innovative new packaging alternatives was able to offer an industry-leading packaging solution to help support their sustainable packaging initiatives,” says Clear Lam president James Sanfilippo, citing a recent Tellus Institute study showing that using renewable raw materials to produce packaging requires about half the energy used to make petroleum-based packaging, while also reducing GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions generated during the manufacturing process by 48 per cent.

Featureing a Made from Plants stamp on the bottom of each cup, the new formed PLA yogurt containers are also claimed to be stronger and more impact-resistant than those made from the polystyrene plastic they have replaced, according to Clear Lam, which is one of the world’s largest extruders and thermoformers of the Ingeo brand biopolymers processed by NatureWorks in Blair, Neb.