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

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“Recycling is Important” – A Young Person’s Appeal

The following is a letter to the editor of the Lahaina News (Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii) printed on October 27, 2011.  While we can’t confirm specific statistics cited in the letter, it is gratifying to read that a student at the Maui Preparatory Academy not only understands the importance of recycling, but is exhorting her fellow neighbors to recycle more.  We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.  Thanks Cassidy!

RECYCLING IS IMPORTANT

I am Cassidy Otto from Kaanapali. I attend Maui Preparatory Academy, and I am writing to you because our world has been failing when reusing or recycling comes up. I am writing to you because people all around the world near and far
aren’t recycling.

Why is recycling important to save Earth? Recycling is important to the world because it has a circulated system that brings the recycled materials in and mixes them together to have that same material into one, so companies are recycling and reusing. It is also important because it saves pollution. Since pollution is
one of our main issues in the world, recycling can help this problem.

How does it help pollution? When recyclables are replaced as new materials during manufacturing, we forget the environmental destruction caused by mining for metal, drilling for petroleum and growing trees. Usually, there is always a degree of pollution made in any manufacturing system, including recycling, but production using recyclables is surprisingly less. When recycling paper, you help reduce air pollution by 74 percent and water pollution by 35 percent. When recycling cans, you help reduce air pollution by 95 percent and water pollution by 97 percent. How awesome is that?!

How can recycling influence and change the world? “Recycling not only can
potentially save the Earth by reducing trash, but it influences people to
recycle in non-conventional ways. My sister turned a bed sheet into reusable
napkins. I have turned mailing tubes into a prop for a play.” That is what
my mom has said about it.

Not only does it save the Earth and reduce trash, but it influences people to
reuse, reduce and recycle more – to take those recyclables to the recycling
center again and again. I personally recycle, and it is a great feeling; just
recycling a garbage bag of bottles, glass, aluminum cans and newspapers is a
feeling that you don’t want to lose.

Did you know that to understand the value of recycling, we must look at the entire life cycle of any product – from the extraction and processing of raw materials, to the manufacture and consumption of that product, and then to its final disposition. Also, recycling creates a closing-circle system where products are returned back to manufacturers for use in new products, which prevents the
pollution and destruction that occurs when virgin materials like trees or
materials are extracted from the Earth.

Lastly, I read on a website that every year we generate 230 million tons of waste. By recycling 30 percent of the waste, we save energy equal to 11.9 billion gallons
of diesel fuel and greenhouse gas equal to taking 25 million cars off the road!
For every one million tons of recycled materials, we save energy equal to
35,680,000 barrels of oil in aluminum materials; 460,000 barrels of oil in
glass materials; 2,920,000 barrels of newspaper materials; 1,760,000 barrels of
oil in office paper materials; 4,010,000 barrels of oil in mixed residential
paper; 9,100,000 barrels of oil in PET (plastic) materials; and 8,870,000
barrels of oil in HDPE (plastic) materials. That is how much you can save by
recycling.

Why am I writing this letter? I am writing this letter because recycling is a main
part of our world. I don’t want our world to come to an end, and everyone
having to live on Mars for the rest of our lives, because Earth won’t be able
to survive with human beings depending on it. Recycling only takes 20 minutes
of your day. It is that easy!!! I am passionate about this because I love to do
this. It isn’t that hard. Really! This is important to me and the world for you
wonderful people.  Please just spread the word.

CASSIDY OTTO

Plastic Waste from North Pacific Ocean Gyre Successfully Recycled

method and Envision Team Up to Create New Plastic Material:
Ocean PCR
 

Method, in partnership with Envision Plastics (the technology leader in curbside collected, recycled polyolefin plastics), has developed a novel and potentially profound new plastic material; Ocean PCR.  The idea was born when, after achieving 100% post-consumer material in our packaging, we started asking
ourselves a simple question: what is the ultimate post-consumer material?

That led us to ocean plastic. What if we could gather some of the plastic floating in the North Pacific Gyre, and make bottles out it? We would be taking trash and upcycling it into something useful that could be recycled again and again. And more importantly, it could serve as a platform for communicating the real solution to humanity’s legacy of plastic pollution:  using the plastic that is already on the planet.

Well, we’ve done it. Recently, method was able to make bottles out of Ocean PCR. It is 100% post-consumer HDPE, 25% of which is plastic we have collected from the Gyre.

Debris Washes up on Kanapou Bay Beach - courtesy of NOAA

 

Taking on such an audacious challenge requires putting aside the reasons why something won’t work, and inventing new solutions. Making bottles out of ocean
plastic has meant overcoming two primary challenges: 1) How do you make a high quality bottle out of degraded, brittle plastic that has been floating in the
ocean for a decade or more?; and 2) how do you establish a supply chain for a
material that’s floating in the ocean 2000 miles off the West Coast? To solve these problems, method looked to the experts to partner with.

Envision Plastics is one of the leading recyclers of HDPE in the
world, and manufactures the PCR material in method’s laundry detergent bottles. When Rudi Becker (our packaging director at method) and I first approached Envision about our idea, we did so with apprehension, not knowing how our business partner would respond to such a crazy idea. To our
delight, the people at Envision, already in the recycling business, were well
aware of the issues of our plastic pollution problem, and eager to do something
big to address. Since then Envision has donated line time, invented new processes, and busted through barriers to help us engineer Ocean PCR that has similar product performance to virgin HDPE resin. In fact, an entirely new process has been created that allows us to clean, blend, and remanufacture low quality material into high quality plastic.

On the supply chain side, method tapped into a network of beach cleanup organizations, particularly in Hawaii. Hawaii, as one of the most remote land masses on the planet, sits at the southern edge of the Gyre. Because of the ocean winds and currents in the region, much of the plastic from the Gyre ends up washing up on the beaches of Hawaii.  The strategy would be to intercept the plastic that they collect, normally bound for landfill, and divert it to Envision. Having participated in some of these cleanups ourselves, we have picked up bleach bottles from Japan and household items from mainland USA, on beaches in Hawaii.  During one cleanup, a Hawaiian monk seal and a green sea turtle crawled up on the beach while we were picking up plastic.

Sea Turtle on Kahuku Beach

Two endangered species, making their home on a remote beach made of plastic.

Having successfully made bottles we can fill, the next step will be scaling it up and bringing this to market, something we intend to do with a major US retailer. Imagine the proposition of this method product – for every one you buy, you take 15 grams of plastic out of the ocean. Pretty cool. The point, of course, is not to clean up the Gyre. The scientists who study this problem will tell you there is no practical way to clean it up; the area is just too remote, and the plastic too
small. The goal is to raise awareness about the issue of plastic pollution, and to point us toward the solution already in front of us – using the plastic that we already have. That way, more people will ask for it, and more manufacturers will make it. And perhaps we’ll be one step closer to a more verdant and sustainable world.

Stay tuned!

…and check back next week for Rudi Becker’s report for more details on how we did it. Rudi is method’s resinator, otherwise known as our packaging director.

Adam

Read more about it at:

Press release:  http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/method-unveils-breakthrough-bottle-made-of-ocean-plastic-1561925.htm

Articles:  http://www.treehugger.com/files/2011/09/method-prototype-detergent-bottle-one-quarter-ocean-gyre-recovered-plastic.php

http://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2011/09/15/method-makes-new-recycled-plastic-bottle-garbage-sea

Adam Lowry, Chief Greenskeeper and Co-founder of method to blog on Save the Plastics (https://envisionplastics.wordpress.com)

Stay tuned over the next two weeks as Adam Lowry, Co-founder of method guest blogs on Save the Plastics. Adam will discuss recent efforts by method and Envision to use plastic waste retrieved from the North Pacific Gyre and recycle it into new products. Rudi Becker, method’s “resinator” (Director of Packaging) will fill in the details of how it was done. We will tweet the posting of each article on Save the Plastics via Twitter