Arla Foods on track to zero-carbon

Arla Foods, the maker of Anchor butter and Lurpak, is on its way to operating the world's first zero-carbon milk processing facility at its plant in Aylesbury.

A partnership with waste disposal firm Biffa has seen Arla pledge to send zero waste to landfill by 2015 and source 30% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020.

Biffa recommended the installation of a number of in-plant innovations, including a revolutionary machine that crushes milk bottles, feeding milk to an anaerobic digestion tank and plastic to a baler. The plastics are collected and recycled by Biffa Polymers’ facility in Redcar. Biffa then supplies the recycled plastic to a milk bottle manufacturer which, in turn, supplies to Arla Foods, delivering a closed-loop system.

Biffa corporate account manager Daryl Grace said: “Arla Foods is committed to using advanced process technologies and renewable energies, so I began to investigate what was out there and they were impressed with what they saw. We’ve now been able to give them low-carbon energy generation and closed-loop recycling.”

The partnership is the latest in a line of sustainability initiatives from the world’s third largest co-operative dairy producer.

In May, Arla revealed it was saving around £80,000 a year since switching to LED lighting at its national distribution centre in Leeds. 

And back in February, the firm announced the opening of a dedicated biofuel filling station at its Aylesbury dairy, along with plans to convert its entire fleet of vehicles to dual-fuel. Read more here.

Brad Allen

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