A new system is now available in the UK which potentially allows dairies to
reduce both waste and plastic usage in the bottling procedure. Suffolk-based dairy Marybelle have signed an agreement with packaging independent, GreenBottle Limited, to provide its semi-skimmed milk in the new “GreenBottles” going on sale in ASDA stores located in the East of England, starting with the Lowestoft branch.
90.7% of the GreenBottle is made from waste paper. An inner plastic lining (9.3%) is currently made from Low Density Polypropylene, but could also be made with bioplatcs. A Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) for GreenBottle was completed by PIRA International recently. It found that the carbon footprint of GreenBottle was 48% lower than the HDPE (plastic) polybottle equivalent.
The system allows traditional dairies to substantially reduce their use of plastic by replacing the conventional plastic milk bottles with bottles made from moulded recycled paper and low density plastic liners. Earlier this summer, Food and Farming Minister Lord Rooker called for the dairy industry to become more sustainable, targeting 50% reduction of plastics used in milk packaging as a key goal for 2020.
James Strachan, Director of Marybelle Dairy says: “Many dairies are looking to upgrade their processes and make them less wasteful. We are coming under increased pressure to deliver the highest quality milk and packaging to the major retail customers, at the lowest price. The GreenBottle system is the single biggest leap forward in dairy manufacturing technology in years, and we are now able to offer our customers the same milk, in a more sustainable bottle.”
The GreenBottle was invented by Martin Myerscough, using a process similar to egg carton technology in which office waste paper is washed and moulded into the distinctive bottle shape. The bottle has been designed to comfortably fit standard fridge units. Dairies will not be inconvenienced by the change either, for they can affordably adapt existing systems to fit the new bottle.
Commenting on the new paper bottle, Simon King, Chief Executive, said “We are very pleased to be working with Marybelle and ASDA in East Anglia to roll out the GreenBottle. The Suffolk community has been very supportive of the product in trials and consumer surveys. We are now working with ASDA on plans to roll out to further stores in the UK. As a result of this support, dairies across the UK will also be able to benefit from the technology.”
Chris Brown, Head of Ethical and Sustainable Sourcing at ASDA says “Milk is one of our highest selling products, and as such, we have a responsibility to develop alternative packaging making it easier for our customers to go green and to help them recycle at home. The Green Bottle is robust, practical and fit for purpose, meaning there is no danger of spilled milk at breakfast time.”
Source: Greenbottle Ltd., press release, 08-08-11.