Clover Sonoma debuts fully renewable plant-based milk carton

By Beth Newhart contact

- Last updated on GMT

Clover Sonoma’s new packaging will be available on shelves this summer in its organic half gallon and quart milk cartons.
Clover Sonoma’s new packaging will be available on shelves this summer in its organic half gallon and quart milk cartons.

Related tags: Milk, packaging, cartons, Sustainability, Carbon footprint, b corporation

California-based dairy Clover Sonoma is making sustainability strides with the launch of a new milk carton made entirely from plant materials. It’s one of the first of its kind in the US and will hit shelves this summer.

Clover Sonoma said it will be converting more than 10m milk cartons this year to its renewable carton, and will continue to do so until its entire line of milk has fully renewable packaging.

The company defines renewable resources as ones that are able to be replenished naturally over time, and can enable a move away from fossil fuel-based materials, reducing environmental impact and improving resource efficiency.

In terms of specific materials, Clover Sonoma said the paperboard for its new carton is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified, which supports responsible forest management and helps to protect forests for future generations.

The lining inside and outside of the carton are made of fossil-fuel-free green plastic made from non-GMO sugar cane. And bio-ethanol made from sugar cane is used for a low-density polyethylene (LDPE) coating inside and outside of the carton.

The carbon footprint of the new renewable carton is less than 50% compared to conventional cartons. Clover Sonoma has already been working to reduce plastic waste by eliminating plastic caps on paper cartons; they prevented more than 227,000 pounds of plastic from entering landfills in 2019.

Marcus Benedetti, CEO at Clover Sonoma, said, “Owning more than 50% of the branded dairy market in Northern California means we have a responsibility to do what’s best for consumers.

“Packaging is a big part of our focus as we try to find innovative ways to decrease the use of fossil fuels, utilize less plastic, and encourage recycling. Our new fully renewable milk carton is a first for the US, and we hope to transition the carton across our fluid milk line within the next few years.”

Clover Sonoma’s new packaging will be available on shelves this summer in its organic half gallon and quart milk cartons.

Alongside the announcement of its new carton packaging, Clover Sonoma revealed its B Corporation score improved to 100.5, up from 96.9 during its original certification in 2016. The company said better employee and community engagement, environmental standards, and corporate governance contributed to the increase.

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