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a2 Milk™ UK has ditched plastic bottles and switched to recyclable cartons

Published on: 03.12.2018

Fresh milk goes back into cartons in UK with a2 Milk™The a2 Milk™
Company has launched its fresh milk brand in 1 litre Pure-Pak® cartons in the UK, as part of a major new processing deal with Elopak customer Crediton Dairy. Tim Smiddy, Managing Director of Crediton Dairy spoke to Elotalk about this significant launch in UK fresh milk market which has been dominated by plastic packaging for decades, with millions of bottles disposed of daily.

“With the heightened awareness around plastic packaging waste we are seeing a lot of interest in switching from bottles to cartons,” says Tim Smiddy.

“a2 Milk™ wanted to optimise the messaging of the product through the sustainability of the cartons, therefore they specified that all materials used must be sustainable with all renewable PE.” 

Crediton used existing Elopak ESL filling technology for a2 Milk™, with products launched onto shelves in the UK at the end of September across all key supermarkets. 

Natural a2 Milk™ comes from selected cows that produce milk containing only the A2 beta casein protein type and is free from the A1 protein present in conventional milk. Originally all domesticated cows produced milk with only the A2 beta casein protein type. Following domestication of cows, the A1 protein type emerged and spread through modern farming methods. Today, all conventional cows’ milk contains a mix of A1 and A2 protein types. Now a2 Milk™ is bringing back original milk which is more easily digested and as the company says – completely natural, the way milk is meant to be. 

The launch in the UK is a turning point for fresh milk both in terms of the packaging and the product itself and reflects the a2 Milk™ Company’s significant success globally.

In Australia a2 Milk™ is a mainstream product despite a high premium and has a ~10% value share1 of the fresh milk market in grocery. Recently also launched in the USA the product has distribution coast to coast in over 6,000 stores. The a2 Milk™ company was named one of 2018’s Top 10 Most Innovative Companies in Food by US-based business magazine Fast Company. 2Gable top cartons are already used in the UK’s fresh dairy cabinet for flavoured milks, and non-dairy products such as soy, rice and oat milks, but this is the first white fresh milk product to move into cartons.

“This is the most value-added milk in cartons on the UK supermarket shelves and gives consumers more options and alternatives to standard cow’s milk,” adds Tim Smiddy. “With consumers becoming more enlightened to packaging sustainability and its environmental impact, the new carton is responding to a rising expectation for more sustainable and recyclable packaging. We expect to see a gradual shift of more products in the dairy sector moving away from plastic packaging to cartons.”

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“Elopak contributed a vast amount of input for the launch of a2 Milk™ and helped us to develop the most sustainable carton possible, and they will continue to work in partnership with us for further expansion of the a2 Milk™ range in the UK,” adds Tim Smiddy. 

“We have always been a pioneer and the introduction of our new sustainable cartons in the UK is another first,” said Simon Hennessy, a2 Milk™ Company General Manager for International Development. 

All a2 Milk™ products naturally contain the A2 protein, sourced from farms in the North West, Shropshire and Cheshire and are completely free from the A1 protein type.