Nampak Plastics UK - the leading supplier of high density polyethylene bottles for the dairy industry - is helping retailers to reach their sustainability targets with its latest brainchild; the Infini bottle. This innovative, ultra-lightweight plastic milk bottle is 15 per cent lighter than the standard bottle design and contains up to 15 per cent recycled materials yet it still exceeds current performance specifications and is robust enough to withstand the entire supply chain.
The Infini bottle is an exclusively Nampak-led initiative1, developed by the innovation team. More than eight million Infini bottles have been filled and sold generating very positive feedback from customers, retailers and consumers.
Better by design
Most recently recognised for its superior design at the Dairy Innovation Awards 2012 - Infini scooped the winning title for Best Dairy Packaging Innovation at the Dairy Innovation Awards 2012 - the key objective in the bottle's design was to reduce the weight of materials used during production without affecting the bottle's integrity and requirement to be "fit for purpose". This has been achieved with a new design that does not force the material as far into each of the bottle's corners. The considerable reduction in the weight of material required to produce the Infini bottle equates to an average 16 per cent weight saving across the range, with specific bottle sizes achieving savings as high as 25 per cent.
A further important element of the innovative design is the positioning of the handle at the corner edge of the bottle. Stored in the fridge, the handle can therefore be positioned facing outwards, making it easier for the consumer to remove the bottle, grip and pour the contents. Research2 by Nampak confirms that consumers prefer this positioning with nearly three-quarters of respondents finding it easier to grasp the Infini handle than that of the standard bottle.
The Infini bottle's innovative design has been selected as the optimum solution to help retailers and dairies achieve the government and industry targets set by the Courtauld Commitment 23 and the current Dairy Roadmap4. It is fully recyclable and can be recycled in exactly the same way as the standard bottle. Currently containing up to 15 per cent recycled materials, the target is to increase this to 30 per cent by 2015 and 50 per cent by 2020. Combined with its significant weight reduction, the Inifini bottle offers the optimum solution for carbon reduction.
James Crick, business development director for Nampak Plastics UK, comments: "To help our customers reduce their environmental impact and deliver cost improvement during challenging economic times, we've used our expertise and gone back to first principles to create an innovative new design for the bottle. The Infini design requires less material to manufacture and, importantly, unlike other lightweighting techniques, its performance and durability is not jeopardised. We are extremely pleased with the feedback we have received from customers and consumers alike and the positive difference that is being made to reduce environmental impact."
1 The Infini design is fully protected by relevant patents and design registration. Patent: GB2464386. Patent pending: PCT/GB2010/051412. Design Registration: EU REG DES 001171383. 2 Research conducted on behalf of Nampak by Ricability, October 2010. 3 Courtauld Commitment 2 is a WRAP initiative where brand owners and retailers have supported targets to reduce the carbon impact of their packaging. 4 Milk Roadmap is a milk.
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