It is a world premiere: school milk in Upper Austria is now packaged in 100% sustainable cups made of recycled PET (rPET). Together with the school milk producers and two other Upper Austrian companies PET-MAN, Greiner Packaging, we are revolutionizing the food packaging market and prove that a sustainable circular economy is possible.
The visionary project has been awarded with the Austrian TRIGOS 2021 award for responsible business, in the category „Exemplary project” and nominated for the Green Packaging Star Award. Learn how we manage to close the recycling loop of school milk packaging on WWW.RPET-CUP.COM.
Winner of the Austrian TRIGOS Award
Unprinted cups made from rPET mono material
School milk farmers fill their products freshly.
Short transport routes avoid unnecessary emissions.
All yoghurt drinks, cocoa, and school milk in Upper Austria are now packaged sustainably.
After their use, the cups are returned for recycling.
When the bell announces the break, children in Upper Austria look forward to enjoying their school milk. Every day, around 36,000 children in Upper Austria are supplied with fresh school milk products such as fruit milk, drinking yoghurts or school milk cocoa. “To carry through the origin idea of the regional and sustainable product to the packaging, we thought about how to make it so that the cups are 100% recyclable and reusable,” explains Markus Neudorfer, Managing Partner of the sheet manufacturer PET-MAN. The solution is a white cup made from 100% rPET.
rPET - the sustainable plastic
The benefits of this material are obvious: it is lightweight, unbreakable and plasticizer-free, making it ideal for school kids. However, rPET (recycled polyethylene terephthalate) is far more than conventional plastics. "The new rPET cups consist of 100% recycled, unprinted rPET mono material and can be recycled over and over again into 100% food-grade cups.", says Alisa Schröer, responsible for Circular Economy projects at Greiner Packaging.
Recycling the cups requires less energy than reprocessing reusable glass, for example, and produces less waste. The school milk farmers take the used cups back with their next school milk delivery. This results in over 30% less CO2 emissions compared to reusable glass bottles. "The cups are collected, washed and shredded. The shredded material, known as flakes, are then cleaned and processed using viscotec technology. This rPET material will again be used to make cups for food packaging," explains Herbert Hofbauer from Starlinger viscotec. As a result, many tons of packaging waste are avoided every year.
Regional product in regional packaging
The entire production and recycling loop of the school milk takes place in Upper Austria. The cows graze on local pastures and the fresh milk is bottled directly by the school milk farmers and delivered to the schools. "Thanks to the partnership with the three Upper Austrian companies PET-MAN, Greiner Packaging and Starlinger viscotec, we can now provide a sustainably packaged school milk to the kindergartens and schools produced exclusively in Upper Austria.", states Johannes Strobl, farmer and chairman of the Upper Austrian school milk producers.
Closed Packaging Recycling Loop
Children should be made aware of the sustainable use of nature as early as kindergarten and school age. By using the 100% recycled rPET cups, they learn that plastic is not just plastic and makes it a big difference, whether packaging is simply disposed or can be recycled over and over again: the closed recycling loop of the valuable material makes recycled PET a material for the future.
It is interesting to know that recycled PET is currently the only post-consumer secondary plastic that is allowed to be used in food applications in the European Union. The school milk packaging made of rPET can therefore be recycled again and turned into food packaging, making it THE recyclable packaging for dairy products.
Benefits of rPET cups
- 100 % rPET
- FULLY RECYCLEABLE
- UNPRINTED & NO PLASTICIZERS
- PACKAGING QUALITY
- CO2 EFFICIENT