Lightweight Recycled Content Milk Bottle from Nampak Hits 500 Million Sales

The following article the highlights the success of the UK dairy industry’s use of recycled HDPE plastic in milk jugs.  The technology is commercially available here in the U.S., but there is no desire or incentive for the dairy industry here to include recycled content in our milk jugs.  Milk jugs are the gold standard of “recyclability” and are used extensively as feedstock for recycled HDPE products.  It would be the ultimate in sustainability if the circle could be completed and milk jugs turned back into milk jugs, instead of into detergent or shampoo bottles.  Envision produces EcoPrime, food grade recycled HDPE resin, which would be ideal for use in the production of milk jugs. – Ed.

Reprinted from Resource Efficient Business

Date: Tue, 1 Apr 2014 | Author: Paul Sanderson

Nampak’s Infini milk bottle has sold 500 million units in the UK in supermarkets such as Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose and Marks & Spencer.

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Since its launch in 2012, the Infini HDPE bottle has saved 34,000 tonnes of carbon and 16,000 tonnes of material.

According to Nampak, the bottle is the strongest and lightest on the British market.

In the last 12 months, Nampak has also pushed up the recycled content in the form of rHDPE in the four pint bottle to 30 per cent and has created a four pint bottle weighing just 32g, representing a 20 per cent saving on the standard bottle.

Nampak Plastics managing director Eric Collins said: “This is a very exciting time for Nampak. For the last six years, the team has been focused on continuously innovating and pushing boundaries where possible with Infini, and this is now showing exceptional tangible results, reducing the carbon footprint of the plastic milk bottle.”

Marks & Spencer commercial and environmental packaging manager Andrew Speck added: “Since Nampak helped us launch the first milk bottles with post-consumer recycled content in 2007 it has continued to deliver innovative packaging solutions for us, most recently this year’s 30 per cent recycled content bottles that we are currently trialling.

“Nampak continues to push the barriers around performance and sustainability, and we look forward to working with it on more ground-breaking innovations into the future.”

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EcoPrime™ Food Grade Recycled HDPE Arrives in Southern California

A crane lowers the EcoPrime vessel through the roof of Envision's Chino California plant

A crane lowers the EcoPrime vessel through the roof of Envision’s Chino California plant

Chino, California – Thursday, June 27, 2013

The final stages of equipment installation are underway at Envision Plastics’ Chino, California operation as a large crane lowered the EcoPrime™ vessel through the roof of the building and into its framework.  The EcoPrime™ vessel is the final component required to allow Envision to produce EcoPrime™, FDA approved food grade recycled HDPE resin on the West coast.

EcoPrime™ is approved for direct food contact in many food and beverage applications under demanding conditions of use.  EcoPrime™ is currently used in packaging for liquid yogurt drinks, cereals, deli foods, nutritional products, food take out containers, personal care products, toys and other products.  It can be used in blow molding, thermoforming, compression molding, film extrusion and some injection molding applications.

Debugging of the equipment and pre-production trials will take place in July.  Production of EcoPrime™ should commence in August.  Stay tuned for more developments.

 

Alpla to Produce Milk Bottles with 50% Recycled Content for Arla Foods

Arla Foods has appointed leading plastic packaging company, Alpla, to manufacture bottles on site at its new one billion-litre dairy in Aylesbury, and support Arla’s aim for the dairy to be the most environmentally advanced in the world.

Arla Foods Milk Bottles will Contain 50% Food Grade Recycled HDPE

Alpla, which is targeting an industry first recycled HDPE material content of 50 per cent in all bottles for Arla, will support the dairy company’s aim of delivering a zero carbon facility with zero waste to landfill in Aylesbury.  Alpla has already designed a new range of lightweight HDPE bottles, which will deliver a weight saving in excess of 20 per cent compared to Arla’s current milk bottles.

 
Lars Dalsgaard, director of supply chain at Arla, said: “The appointment of Alpla supports our sustainability strategy and commitment to become Closer to Nature. Alpla will blowmould and handle plastic bottles for Arla with the lowest energy consumption possible, which will assist our zero carbon ambition. It will also provide our customers with the lowest carbon fresh milk packaging available in the UK.”

 
Alpla will work at Aylesbury dairy through a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ operation. Although on site bottle production is currently used at a number of Arla’s other sites, this will be the first on this scale in the dairy industry. The new facility will be of the highest quality, and will have total flexibility, allowing Arla to react quickly to customer requirements in today’s challenging dairy market.

 
Guenther Lehner, CEO of Alpla global, said: “We’ve been working with Arla on this project over the last 18 months and it has been hugely challenging. Our continuous effort to develop plastic container manufacturing processes and packaging designs with utmost environmental and economic efficiencies in mind has resulted in Alpla being a perfect match for Arla in this exciting project. The whole Alpla team is looking forward to putting this ambitious concept into reality and to strengthening the close partnership between our two organisations.”

 
Alpla has considerable experience in the plastic bottle market, having in-plant facilities at blue chip companies all over the world (including five in the UK), as well as two stand-alone UK sites in Milton Keynes and Manchester, ensuring Arla has good supply contingency to support the company’s changing requirements.

 
More info: www.arlafoods.co.uk

Use of Recycled HDPE in Milk Bottles Expands in the U.K.

The Co-op invests in new eco milk bottles

11 April 2012

The Co-operative Food has become the first retailer to reduce the tint in all of its own-brand plastic coloured milk bottle tops, making it easier for them to be recycled into new bottles.

The Co-operative sells 202 million bottles of milk every year, and previously, the amount of recycled plastic that can be used to make new clear milk bottles was limited because bottle tops colour the material.

The move will mean that the retailer will potentially increase the recycled content of plastic milk bottles from 10% to 30% – helping to produce an extra 4,500 tonnes of recyclable material every year.

Iain Ferguson, environment manager for The Co-operative Food, said: “Protecting the environment is a key part of The Co-operative’s groundbreaking Ethical Plan, and we are proud to be leading the way with this initiative and that The Co-operative is the first UK retailer to complete this move on all of its own-brand milk bottles.“

Marcus Gover, director of Closed Loop Economy at WRAP, said: “We are pleased to see The Co-operative making this commitment to boost the recyclability of its own-brand milk bottles. WRAP research found that reducing the tint in milk bottle tops is a ‘quick win’ that can help achieve higher recycled content in milk bottles, thereby reducing the use of virgin plastic and ensuring more efficient use of resources, which is good news for the environment.”

Source: The Co-op

Recyclers Milk Bottle Market at Record Level

The following article appeared in Plastics & Rubber Weekly, a Plastics News Global Group Site on November 8, 2011.  The article discusses the increase in recycling of HDPE milk bottles in the United Kingdom.  The UK is significantly ahead of us here in the United States when it comes to including recycled HDPE in their milk bottles.  Greenstar, Closed Loop Recycling and Nampak (among others) are working together to include up to 50% recycled food grade HDPE back into milk bottles.  At this point in time, there are no milk bottles in the U.S. that contain recycled plastic.  EcoPrime™, the only FDA approved, food grade recycled HDPE for use in direct food contact applications in North America is now available to fulfill that need.  Visit http://www.envisionplastics.com/ecoprime.html to learn more about how EcoPrime™ can be used to reduce our use of virgin plastics, save energy and improve the sustainability of HDPE packaging in most food applications.

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Posted in Plastics & Rubber Weekly – 8 November 2011

By Anthony Clark

HDPE milk bottle recycling rates in the UK are up

The UK’s HDPE milk bottle recycling rate has reached an all time high, according to latest industry study.

The annual recycling study from Recoup shows that 76% of HDPE milk bottles consumed and collected in the UK during 2010 were recycled – a steady rise on 2009’s figure of 72%, following the substantial jump from 57% in 2008.

The report, which identifies recycling rates of all plastic bottle types, revealed that a total of 281,000 tonnes of plastic bottles were collected for recycling in 2010, with HDPE milk bottles representing a third of this total, or 93,000 tonnes.

This continued annual rise can be attributed to the growth of kerbside collections, with 21.7 million UK households now having access to a plastic kerbside collection. An estimated 83% of all household plastic bottles are collected for recycling via this route.

Despite the sustained rise in the number of HDPE milk bottles being recycled, an estimated 22,700 tonnes of HDPE milk bottles were still landfilled in 2010. This material is expected to cost £1.8m in landfill costs, and has a potential recyclable sales value of £8m.

Milk Jugs – Glass, Plastic and Paperboard – have different environmental impacts

A recent article in Slate, the online magazine, and reprinted by The Washington Post, discusses the varying environmental impacts of different packaging choices for milk.  (Read the full article @ http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/02/28/AR2011022804969.html) The three alternatives considered are the HDPE plastic milk jug, the paperboard gable-top carton and the glass bottle. Without restating the entire article here, the author points out the pro’s and con’s of each packaging form.  

The paperboard gable top carton gets high marks for being produced from largely renewable resources (paperboard), however, it’s positives are overshadowed by resource intensity to produce and mixed materials (coated paperboard, plastic spouts and caps) which hampers recyclability. 

The author ranks the glass bottle first, despite the fact that it takes more energy to produce and even though it is much heavier than the paper and plastic alternatives.  Ranking the glass bottle first is due to his primary assertion that it is reusable / refillable.  While in theory, that is true, I don’t think that we’re going back to the days of having the milkman pick up your empties, plus the energy involved in any return scheme has not been factored into his assessment of environmental impact.

The author ranks the plastic jug second due to its light weight and recyclability.  However, he goes on to state that, “While plastic bottles can be melted down and made into new bottles, none of the milk containers in the United States are actually made from recycled material.  That’s because of safety concerns over bacterial and chemical contamination, and strict FDA guidelines for the manufacture of food packaging from such secondhand sources.”

The author goes on to say, “When it is reclaimed, plastic from milk bottles is usually turned into toothbrushes, flowerpots, and children’s toys, among other things.”  While it is true that recycled milk bottles go into all of these applications, the primary use for recycled milk bottles, by far, is to be put back into consumer products packaging.  Virtually all national brands of liquid laundry products, household cleaners, shampoos, conditioners and skin care products use recycled milk bottles in their packaging because it is relatively easy to achieve the proper color packaging using colorless, recycled milk bottle plastic resin.

We are, also, pleased to say that we are addressing the author’s comment that “…none of the milk containers in the United States are actually made from recycled materials”.  Envision Plastics’ EcoPrime™ food grade recycled HDPE resin will be incorporated into dairy products and milk bottle packaging this year.  EcoPrime™ is the only post consumer recycled HDPE resin that has received FDA clearance to be used in packaging that is in direct contact with foods and beverages.  This means that EcoPrime™ is free of chemical, bacterial, or any other type of contaminants and that it meets the “strict FDA’s guidelines for the manufacture of food packaging from such secondhand sources”.  Look for it in milk, liquid dairy products, beverages, nutritional products and personal care products.  You can be assured that EcoPrime™ is the cleanest, purest recycled HDPE resin available anywhere in the world.

Need more information? Visit, www.envisionplastic.com/ecoprime.html or contact Envision Plastics Vice President, Tamsin Ettefagh.  She will be happy to discuss your comments or concerns in greater depth. Contact her at 336/342-4749 Ext 225.