Milklab discusses why it uses sustainable building materials


Milklab explains how it’s utilising an eco-friendly building material in its trade show stand design and why the environment is always front of mind.

Operating sustainably is at the heart of Milklab’s brand ethos. The family of plant-based and dairy milks made for baristas and coffee-lovers is always looking for ways to reduce its environmental impact.

To further this brand promise, Milklab used its stand at the Melbourne International Coffee Expo (MICE), which took place from 17 to 19 August, to showcase a sustainable building material made from recycled waste, including long-life milk cartons and coffee cups.

“As a brand, we’re constantly on the lookout for ways we can increase the sustainable initiatives we undertake,” says Milklab Marketing Manager Natalie Latimore. “Whether that’s partnering with The Common Good Co. to create sustainable merchandise that uses eco-friendly materials and ethical production practices, or promoting our recyclable milk cartons, we always try to put the environment first.”

The new-look stand, dubbed Milklab Lane, incorporated an exterior that resembled hole-in-the-wall style cafés and coffee carts that encouraged guests to explore and discover the ‘laneways of Milklab’.

Through the laneways, Milklab was able to showcase its milks specifically designed to complement espresso.

“The range includes almond, oat, soy, macadamia, coconut, full-cream dairy, and lactose-free milks. The milks are made in collaboration with baristas, for baristas, to deliver high performance texturing and stretching with a creamy mouthfeel,” Natalie says.

For the first time, Milklab’s stand was made with saveBOARD, a low-carbon building material made from hard-to-recycle liquid paper board used in long-life milk and juice cartons.

“saveBOARD is focused on building a circular economy by turning composite packaging waste such as milk cartons, ingredients bags, coffee cups and soft plastics back into low-carbon products that re-enter the local supply chain and therefore eliminate future waste,” Natalie says.

saveBOARD manufactures healthy, high-performance building materials from its facilities in Hamilton, New Zealand, and Warragamba, Sydney. The company upcycles packaging waste in Australasia through the implementation of scalable technologies that turn locally collected waste into locally distributed, recyclable building products.

For the walls of Milklab Lane, Milklab worked closely with saveBOARD to create a circular economy solution by integrating milk carton packaging waste into the board products. Natalie says there are no additives used in the boards, such as glues, chemicals, and adhesives. The plastic in the packaging is the glue, and the colour is created from the original consumer packaging.

“Each board saves 500 used beverage cartons from landfill, with each saveBOARD plant capable of recycling four million kilograms of soft plastics and fibre every year at its facilities,” she says.

Natalie says that following the success of Milklab Lane at MICE, the plant and dairy milk company plans to roll-out the sustainable stand at other trade events.

“Sustainability is important to Milklab, so we are committed to implementing sustainable practices in our products, processes and packaging,” she says. “We are excited to partner with saveBOARD to use upcycled milk carton packaging for the build of Milklab Lane to offer our customers an exciting and sustainable brand experience with a reduced environmental impact.”

saveBOARD Country Manager Chris Collimore says saveBOARD was a true solution to problematic waste management, and the company was proud to partner with Milklab.

“We divert hard-to-recycle packaging waste from landfill and turn it into an aesthetically pleasing, functional and commercially sustainable building product,” Chris says. “We can then recycle that product again and again back into saveBOARD. Supporting saveBOARD really is a circular solution to waste.”

Earlier this year, saveBOARD opened its new Warragamba beverage carton manufacturing facility in partnership with Tetra Pak, one of the paper suppliers used in the cartons for Milklab’s range of barista milks.

“We are incredibly proud of the ongoing partnership between Tetra Pak and saveBOARD, keeping valuable resources out of landfill, preserving our planet’s resources, and reducing waste to create sustainable building materials from used cartons for the local market,” says Tetra Pak Marketing Director Jaymie Pagdato.

“Through this collaboration, we are not only creating value through the life cycle of every carton, but we are also contributing to a low-carbon, circular economy.”

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This article appears in the October 2023 edition of BeanScene. Subscribe HERE.

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