From cafes to construction: Recycled milk cartons transformed into low-carbon building material

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MILKLAB partners with saveBOARD to use sustainable building materials in the construction of MILKLAB Lane at the 2024 Melbourne International Coffee Expo

As the favourite plant-based milk for Australian cafes, MILKLAB has partnered with saveBOARD to transform recycled waste including long-life milk cartons into low-carbon building materials to be used as the walls of MILKLAB Lane at the 2024 Melbourne International Coffee Expo (12-14 May).

The MILKLAB Lane stand will be made with sustainable materials including 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, and soft plastics, into low-carbon products that re-enter the local supply chain and reduce future waste.

MILKLAB worked closely with saveBOARD to create the walls of MILKLAB Lane by integrating milk carton packaging waste into the board products. The boards have no additives such as glues, chemicals and adhesives. The plastic in the packaging acts as the glue, and colour is created from the original consumer packaging.

Each board saves 500 used beverage cartons from landfill. Each saveBOARD plant is capable of recycling 4 million kilograms of soft plastics and fibre every year at its facilities at Warragamba in Western Sydney and Hamilton in New Zealand.

MILKLAB Marketing Manager Natalie Latimore said that MILKLAB is a brand grounded in collaboration and sustainability is a key priority.

“Sustainability is important to MILKLAB, and we are committed to implementing sustainable practices in our products, our processes and our packaging.

“Baristas around Australia use the MILKLAB range of milks to satisfy the orders of coffee lovers every day. It’s great to know that we have a sustainable solution to recycle and reuse those cartons to make a positive impact on the environment.

“We’re excited to partner with saveBOARD to use recycled milk carton packaging for the build of MILKLAB Lane this year. We’re thrilled to be able to offer visitors to this year’s Expo an exciting and sustainable brand experience,” Natalie Latimore commented.

saveBOARD Country Manager Chris Collimore said saveBOARD was a true solution to problematic waste management and the company was proud to partner with MILKLAB to showcase its products.

“We divert hard to recycle packaging waste from landfill and turn it into an aesthetically pleasing, functional and commercially sustainable building product.

“We then can recycle that product again and again back into saveBOARD. Supporting saveBOARD really is a circular solution to waste.”

saveBOARD opened its new Warragamba beverage carton manufacturing facility last year in partnership with Tetra Pak, one of the paper suppliers used in the cartons for MILKLAB’s range of barista plant-based and dairy 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,” said Tetra Pak Marketing Director Jaymie Pagdato.

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


The MILKLAB family of plant and dairy milks has been developed to complement espresso coffee. The range includes almond, oat, soy, macadamia, coconut, full-cream dairy and lactose-free milks. They’re made in collaboration with baristas for baristas, to deliver high performance, texturing and stretching with a creamy mouthfeel to complement espresso coffee. MILKLAB is made by Noumi Limited, a leading Australian FMCG company with a mission to create quality, on-trend, responsibly produced dairy and plant-based beverages, nutritional products and ingredients used across the health and fitness industries.

About saveBOARD

saveBOARD is focused on building a circular economy by turning composite packaging waste back into products that re-enter the local supply chain eliminating future waste. The company manufactures healthy, affordable, high performance building materials from its facilities in Hamilton, NZ, and Warragamba, western Sydney. SaveBOARD upcycles packaging waste in Australasia through the implementation of proven, scalable technologies that turn locally collected waste into locally distributed, recyclable building products.


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