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Danish company to scrap plastic caps from millions of organic milk cartons

Dairy giant Arla is to stop using plastic screw tops on its one-litre organic milk cartons.

Danish company to scrap plastic caps from millions of organic milk cartons
Photo: Andrew Kelly/Reuters/Ritzau Scanpix

The decision by the company is part of an effort to reduce CO2 emissions, it said in a statement.

Much of Arla’s packaging – including the one-litre organic milk cartons – is already produced from renewable materials such as plants and trees.

By dropping the plastic caps, the company says it can reduce the CO2 footprint of each carton by 30 percent.

Consumers buy 74 million cartons a year of the product from which the plastic packaging component is set to be removed. Each individual plastic cap is responsible for emissions of 10 grams of CO2, according to Arla.

As such the emissions saving on the caps could reach 740 tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. The figures are based on emissions measured during the period October 2019 to September 2020.

Arla has previously declared its ambition to achieve CO2-neutral operations by 2050.

READ ALSO: Danish dairy giant wants CO2-neutral milk production by 2050

“We and our farmers have an ambitious target of becoming CO2 neutral, and we are reducing are emissions on an ongoing basis,” Arla Denmark country director Helle Müller Petersen said in the statement.

“Part of that work is to reduce the CO2 emissions from our packaging, for example by reducing the use of plastic,” Petersen added.

“It’s therefore an active choice for us to remove the screw top from the organic milk,” she said.

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Danish parliament gives go ahead to giant artificial island off Copenhagen

Denmark's parliament has given the go-ahead to build Lynetteholm, a giant artificial island that will protect Copenhagen's harbour waters from rising sea levels at the same times as providing homes for 35,000 people.

Danish parliament gives go ahead to giant artificial island off Copenhagen
How the island will look while udner construction. Photo: By og Havn

The bill empowering the government to push ahead with the project passed with a massive majority of 85 in favour and 12 against, opening the way for work to push ahead on the 2.8 square kilometer island early as this autumn.

In a short debate on Friday morning, Thomas Jensen, the Social Democrat MP coordinating the bill, dismissed claims that not enough had been done to assess the environmental consequences of what has been described as the largest construction project in Danish history.

“Of the bills I have helped to implement here in the parliament, this is the one which has been most thoroughly discussed, with expert consultations, technical reviews, and almost 200 questions to the Ministry of Transport, which have been answered by the rapporteurs,” he said. “So in terms of process, it is completely worked out.”

READ ALSO: 

Ahead of the vote protesters from the Stop Lynetteholm Facebook group staged a protest outside the parliament, with many dressed in Sean the Sheep costumes. 

Protesters dressed as sheep staged a demonstration against the Lynetteholm project outside the parliament. Photo: Emil Helms/Ritzau Scanpix

The parliamentary vote is not the last hurdle.

The project is also being challenged in the European Court of Justice, on the grounds that the Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA)  have looked at the impact of constructing the island itself, but not of the roads, metro lines, housing and other developments which will go on it.

Lynetteholm is being built partly as a coastal protection project, with a dam that will protect Copenhagen from future storm surges.

The plan was first announced in 2018 by the then Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, and the then Lord Mayor of Copenhagen, Frank Jensen. 

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