|Monday, Feb. 22, 1999, 12:01 EDT||For more information, contact:|
Stacia Tipton, Fenton Communications
Lee Holden, Ben & Jerry’s -
Relax! The company’s not changing a molecule in their all-natural formulas. And while you may have spotted the new graphics on the familiar Ben & Jerry’s label, the BIG change is in the pint container itself.
Beginning with its top-selling flavor, World’s Best” ! Vanilla, the Vermont-based ice cream company plans to switch to a more environmentally-friendly unbleached paperboard. Ben & Jerry’s will be the first U.S. ice cream company to make these pints, converting a significant portion of its containers by the end of 1999.
“We’re hoping what we call the ’ECO-Pint’ will become the new industry standard for ice cream containers,” said Andrea Asch, Manager of Natural Resource Use for Ben & Jerry’s.
So what’s the big deal about unbleached paper? Standard paper-making uses chlorine compounds as a bleaching agent -- a process that discharges millions of gallons of organochlorine-laced wastewater daily, according to Greenpeace. Some of these chemicals are considered human health hazards, and EPA has identified a few, such as dioxins, as carcinogens and highly toxic.
Searching for an unbleached packaging material to meet environmental, commercial, and FDA requirements was anything but easy. “We embarked on a global search for the right kind of paperboard,” noted Asch, a search that led to an Atlanta-based paperboard manufacturer.
“This technology had never before been adapted to ice cream pint containers,” noted Michael Brink, Ben & Jerry’s Manager of Packaging Development. “Just being able to fabricate it in round, precise dimensions posed unique challenges for our manufacturing team."
Over two years in the making, Ben & Jerry’s new ECO-Pints are constructed from unbleached brown (kraft) paperboard, with an exterior clay coating that allows it to be printed with the familiar company logo. The new ECO-Pint is being printed and formed by the Sweetheart Cup Company at its facility outside of Baltimore, Maryland.
You’d think after all that hard work, the company would want to keep such a hot new packaging idea to itself. But as part of the company’s social mission, its attitude is actually quite the opposite. “We’re eager to share what we’ve learned with other manufacturers,” says Liz Bankowski, Director of Social Mission. “This is one small step for the environment that can really make a difference."
Ben & Jerry’s is working with Greenpeace to promote awareness of chlorine issues. (Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen serves on the Greenpeace board of directors.) Consumers interested in additional information about dioxin issues or Greenpeace membership can call toll-free 1-800-893-8526 or visit their website: www.greenpeaceusa.org.
Founded in 1978, Ben & Jerry’s produces a wide variety of super premium ice cream, ice cream novelties, low fat ice cream, low fat frozen yogurt, and sorbet, using Vermont dairy products and high quality, all natural ingredients. The company is committed to using milk and cream from cows not treated with rBGH, an artificial growth hormone. Ben & Jerry’s products are distributed nationwide and in selected foreign countries in supermarkets, grocery stores, convenience stores, franchised Ben & Jerry’s scoop shops, restaurants and other venues.
Ben & Jerry’s operates its business on a three-part mission statement emphasizing product quality, profitable growth and a commitment to the community. Ben & Jerry’s gives 7.5% of its pre-tax profits back to philanthropic and non-profit activities.
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Attention Editors: Interviews, product samples and camera-ready artwork of the new Ben & Jerry’s ECO-Pint are available by contacting Stacia Tipton at Fenton Communications, (202) 822-5200.
View the video press release, you’ll need the RealMedia Player version 4 or higher. To view the video online or for information on ordering the b-roll video press release, visit West Glen Communications Web site. View the video in 28.8 RealMedia format. - View the video in ISDN or higher speed.
Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc.
30 Community Drive
South Burlington, VT 05403-6828
Phone: (802) 846-1500