Traditional company with a pioneering role

16/03/2023 | 2 min read
Jörg Sabo

The Austrian company Berglandmilch focuses on sustainability: It is the first company in Austria to use K3® cups where the cardboard wrap separates itself from the plastic cup during the waste collection process, without the need for human intervention. This step not only makes Berglandmilch a pioneer in Austria but is also a call to policymakers, dual systems, and the recycling industry. 

  • Berglandmilch is now using self-separating cardboard-plastic combinations for its 500g yogurt cups.  

  • The cups are used for all flavors of the Schärdinger, Tirol Milch, and Stainzer brands.  

  • The packaging guarantees optimal recyclability and is considered a particularly sustainable packaging solution for the future.  

  • The declared aim of the changeover is to take on a pioneering role and express the need for a realignment of sorting streams. 

There are many ways to pack yogurt and co. In this sense, cardboard-plastic combinations are an attractive and particularly sustainable type of packaging. They consist of a thin-walled plastic cup surrounded by a cardboard wrap. The packaging solution is characterized by a low plastic content and reduced CO2 emissions. If cardboard and plastic are separated from each other and disposed of correctly, it is also optimally recyclable; the thin-walled white or transparent plastic cup additionally, makes excellent recycling material.  

K3® r100 innovation for optimal recycling  

If consumers do not separate the cardboard wrap from the plastic cup but dispose of the entire packaging via light fraction (yellow bag/yellow bin), the latest K3® innovation by Greiner Packaging can help. With K3® r100, the cardboard wrap separates itself from the plastic cup during the waste collection process.  In its efforts to offer consumers sustainable packaging, Berglandmilch is now the first company in Austria to use the self-separating cardboard-plastic cup. In the future, all 500g yogurt cups of the Schärdinger, Tirol Milch, and Stainzer brands will be offered in K3® r100 cups.   

We have already taken many innovative steps in terms of cardboard-plastic combinations with Greiner Packaging – for example, with the change to a new, for consumers particularly innovative, tear-off mechanism of the cardboard wrap. When we heard about the self-separating cardboard-plastic cup, we were immediately hooked. This makes us an absolute pioneer in the Austrian market.

Josef Braunshofer, Managing Director of Berglandmilch

Innovation with symbolic character  

By switching to the innovative packaging solution, Greiner Packaging and Berglandmilch are not only bringing an innovative and sustainable packaging onto the Austrian market. They also want to set an example. Both companies are in intensive and regular exchange with political actors as well as the dual system – the goal: paper and cardboard that end up in the recycling stream of light packaging should be sorted and consequently, recycled in the future. While that happens in other countries, such as Germany, this is currently not possible in Austria.

If paper and cardboard are thrown into the yellow bag/bin, without the cardboard being separated from the plastic cup, they are sorted out with other interfering materials in the sorting plant and are then thermally recycled. As a result, you lose an important part of the recyclables.

Jörg Sabo, Global Director Marketing & Innovation at Greiner Packaging

With the K3® r100, the possibility arises to significantly increase the recycling rates of cardboard-plastic combinations, regardless of whether consumers separate the cardboard wrap from the plastic cup or not. To be precise, with K3® r100 recyclability of up to 98 % can be achieved. This potential could be exploited in the future by realignment of sorting streams in Austria, which Berglandmilch and Greiner Packaging are striving for.  

Greiner Packaging: a strong partner when it comes to K3®

By using the K3® r100, Berglandmilch relies on the innovation leader in the field of cardboard-plastic combinations. Developed by Greiner Packaging 40 years ago, the company has continuously improved cardboard-plastic combinations since 1982 and adapted them to different market and consumer requirements. Greiner Packaging is currently celebrating its 40th anniversary with K3® – the original since 1982. 

Related articles