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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Upfield Spreads the Love

By Shelby Tuttle


Good news for eco-conscious eaters! Upfield, a leading name in plant-based foods, has unveiled a groundbreaking innovation: the world’s first plastic-free and recyclable tub for its popular plant-based butters and spreads.

This exciting development comes after four years of dedicated research and development by Upfield, in collaboration with Footprint, MCC, and Pagès Group. It marks a significant step towards Upfield’s ambitious goal of reducing plastic content across its entire product portfolio by a staggering 80% by 2030. This equates to a major environmental benefit and means that if the goal is met, the company will replace two billion plastic tubs with its new paper solution and prevent over 25,000 tons of plastic waste from entering our landfills each year.

“We take our responsibility to make a positive impact on the world seriously,” said David Haines, group CEO for Upfield. “Globally, 40% of all plastic produced is for packaging that is used once and then discarded. It is clear that the issue of plastic waste is one of the most critical facing our environment.”

The plastic-free journey began in Austria in late 2023 with the launch of Upfield’s Flora Plant brand, and the success there paves the way for a wider rollout across Upfield’s larger brand portfolio. These pioneering paper tubs are no ordinary packaging. Upfield’s R&D team, combined with Footprint’s material science expertise, has created a solution that’s both functional and sustainable. 

“The introduction of [this] ground-breaking solution, in collaboration with Upfield, establishes a pioneering industry standard. This marks the introduction of the first oil-resistant paper tub for plant-based spreads,” said Yoke Chung, co-founder and chief technology and innovation officer for Footprint. “We are proud to collaborate with Upfield on this transformative endeavor, as it resonates with our shared objective of assisting customers in realizing their sustainability goals.”

Made from compressed wet paper fibers, the tubs are remarkably durable, boasting waterproof and oil-proof properties. They seamlessly integrate into existing recycling streams, being fully recyclable in local paper waste systems.

Upfield’s commitment to sustainability goes even further. The tub has received Conventional Plastic Free Certification, and the paper used in these tubs is PEFC-certified, ensuring it comes from responsibly managed forests. Additionally, the company anticipates achieving home compostability certification for the packaging by 2025.

This innovative plastic-free tub is a win-win for Upfield, environmentally conscious consumers, and the planet. It delivers on Upfield’s commitment to sustainability while offering a functional and eco-friendly packaging option for their plant-based butters and spreads.

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