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Positive Packaging The Prevent & Save Newsletter: Spring 2011

Lakelands leading the way This edition looks at Packaging Optimisation at Lakeland Dairies

In This Issue Current News Packaging Challenges: The Food Sector Packaging Optimisation in Europe

2 Chief Executive’s Welcome If you have topics or issues you wish to share with Repak and the wider community please send them to: Positive Packaging, Repak Limited, Red Cow Interchange Estate, 1, Ballymount Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22. Telephone: 01 467 0190 Email: Repak would be delighted to hear of new packaging ideas that reduce waste and saves cost. We are also keen to promote examples of good packaging systems through this newsletter and through other media. Positive Packaging is produced and compiled by: Colm Munnelly, John Coleman and Niamh MacKenzie; Membership Services Department of Repak Ltd. Design: Baseline CS Printed on Freelife Symbol

Welcome to the latest edition of Positive Packaging. The manufacture of food and beverage products is Ireland’s most important indigenous industry. Irish food and beverage products use 90% of the output of Ireland’s 120,000 farmers with an annual value approaching €20 billion and employing some 50,000 people directly. It is a unique industry since the full extent of the supply chain – raw materials, production and processing, logistics, sales and marketing, professional services and headquarters – is located here in Ireland. This means that the key decisions relating to all products are taken here in Ireland. So also with packaging decisions. Repak has been working closely with many of its major members in the food and beverage sector to help identify ways in which product packaging can be optimised – that is, how to bring the product to market in a fit for purpose manner, while ensuring that packaging is minimised to the greatest extent. Real savings are readily identified from that process. This newsletter highlights the process which has been undertaken to optimise packaging in one major Repak member company. There are many more. Repak’s series of best practice industry case studies – all of which can be viewed on the Prevent & Save website ( – identify innovative ways in which Irish industry is making real savings through reduced packaging output. Repak will continue to press forward with further illustrations of this valuable process. The benefits are real – to the environment, to the consumer, and to the bottom line. I look forward to bringing further best practice examples to you in future editions of this newsletter. Dr Andrew Hetherington Chief Executive Repak

Current News


The Packaging Optimisation Newsletter

Best Practice at Lakeland Dairies

rx3 The rx3 sponsored ‘Trash-toCash’ awards ceremony was recently held on the 6th April 2011. Ten ideas were shortlisted to exhibit in the Science Gallery where the winning projects were presented by the Environment Minister Phil Hogan T.D. This was followed by a ‘Trash Unplugged’ session where a number of experts presented including Damini Kumar, EU Ambassador for Creativity and Innovation and John Coleman, Packaging Technologist with Repak. These presentations helped demonstrate the value and

Having won the Repak Member of the Year award in 2007, Lakeland Dairies have gone on to examine how they can prevent and reduce their packaging as well as recycling it. Some of the results of these efforts are highlighted in the Best Practice section in this issue on page 4.

Challenges in the Food Packaging Sector Enterprise Ireland held a meeting recently to identify what the barriers were to packaging innovation for food companies in Ireland. The barriers that were identified as well as a report on the meeting can be found on page 6.

Packaging Optimisation in Europe While Repak continues to work with members to optimise their packaging in Ireland, other compliance schemes in Europe are carrying out similar work. Under the umbrella organisation for European compliance schemes (PRO Europe) a group has been set up to work on common packaging prevention projects across all European schemes. More details on this work can be found on page 7.

importance of using sustainable materials. For more information relating to this event please click here.

Packaging Optimisation Course Repak and FAS have developed a Packaging Optimisation training course to help companies identify areas where their packaging can be improved and to implement strategies to reduce packaging waste. The course consists of 3 modules of 2 days duration each and covers areas such as legislative background, best practice and case studies, and where to go for help. After a long wait the course has now been approved at level 6 through FETAC and we hope to run the course in the Autumn. If you are interested in signing up, please contact Colm or John at Repak.

Further Packaging Training For those who are interested in specific packaging training we have details on other courses such as the Certificate or Diploma in Packaging Technology and material specific or industry specific packaging training courses. For more information contact Colm at Repak.


Packaging Optimisation The Packaging Optimisation Newsletter

Best Practice at Lakeland Dairies Lakeland Dairies in Killeshandra are well used to working with Repak to improve their environmental performance. Already keen recyclers (Lakelands won the Repak Member of the Year Award in 2007), Lakelands were one of the first companies to use the Packaging Optimisation service in November 2007. As a result of recommendations generated by this survey as well as the commitment of the Lakelands staff, a number of measures have been implemented to reduce the amount of packaging material placed onto the market. The following initiatives were all seen on a recent visit where even further packaging optimisation issues are now being explored by Lakelands.

Ice cream is now being re-worked through return piping which eliminates the need for large plastic tubs that were once used to store re-worked product.

Reduced input packaging. Input packaging has been reduced in several areas including tubs for ice cream. Cardboard cases are no longer being used to pack the tubs and a basic pallet frame is being used instead.

Segregation of material for recycling. Different packaging types are segregated to achieve the best value for the recycled material. These include tetrapak containers, EPS ice cream tubs, PS milk tubs and the webbing used to seal milk containers.

Basic pallet frame to pack tubs

Re-use of woven plastic sacks. Woven plastic sacks for raw material deliveries to Lakelands are re-used to store and return recyclable materials.

Segregated PS milk tubs (above) & webbing seal (below)

Woven plastic sacks for re-use

5 Reduced output packaging.

Re-use and repair of pallets.

A lot of work has been done in the finished goods area to minimize packaging. Standard size pallets are used, very little secondary cardboard is in evidence, and pallet covers, base sheets and layer pads are kept to a minimum.

Pallets for Tetra Pak product are collected free of charge by a supplier who assesses them for damage before returning them to Tetra-pak for re-use thus forming a closed loop system for the pallets.

Minimal packaging on items in the finished goods area

Returnable input packaging. Pallets, pallet tops and other input packaging are being returned to input packaging suppliers. Plastic film cores are returned for re-use and cardboard cores are returned for recycling.

Repaired Pallet in re-use as part of closed loop system

Plastic film cores and cardboard cores returnable input packaging

Case Study


The Packaging Optimisation Newsletter

Packaging Challenges: The Food Sector Last year Enterprise Ireland set up a team to look at packaging innovation in the food sector in Ireland. The objective is to investigate barriers or issues that packaging may be causing to the food sector. These issues have the potential to limit industry growth and exports. A team was established in order to make recommendations to help overcome these barriers. The team are: Eimear Daly (Enterprise Ireland), Helen King (Bord Bia), Hugh Stevens (E.I.), Dorothy Timmons (E.I.), Colm Munnelly (Repak) and James Walsh (E.I.). In February the team held a meeting called “Packaging Challenges in the Food Sector” at the Red Cow Hotel in Dublin. The aim of the meeting was to ask relevant people in the food industry what their views were in relation to packaging, including what systems or services worked well for them and what could be seen as barriers in the food industry. Participants throughout the supply chain were Attendees at the ‘Packaging Challenges in represented at the event including researchers, packaging the Food Sector’ meeting, Dublin test facilities, packaging manufacturers, food packers and To facilitate the discussion Martin Kaye from PIRA fillers, retailers and packaging support services. International in the UK spoke about how his organisation helps companies with packaging issues. Paddy Callaghan Barriers to packaging innovation: spoke about Nature’s Best food packaging and Colm Munnelly from Repak led a discussion on major issues 1. Supply/Order Quantities affecting the packaging industry in Ireland.

2. Cost

3. Biased Information/Knowledge Gaps 4. Training/Education of the industry and the public 5. Technical Issues and Design Skills 6. Threat from Imports 7. Networking 8. Environment and Recycling Issues 9. Legislation 10. Testing/Certification/Validation 11. Fragmentation 12. Retailer Issues 13. Innovation and Ideas 14. Converters supplying food companies

After coffee there were break-out sessions where a number of key issues were identified by participants. Helen King from Bord Bia and Eimear Daly from Enterprise Ireland collated these into a summary list (see panel). These issues will now form the basis of further investigation by the innovation team. Having identified these key issues the team will now carry out a number of fact finding exercises to see how these issues can best be overcome. The team then intend to produce a report on the issues identified and the possible solutions to them once the required information has been gathered. Some participants at the meeting have also volunteered to help with this work. Further information meetings are also planned, the first of which is expected to happen in September. If you wish to contribute to the work in this area or require further information, please contact Eimear Daly (Eimear. or Colm Munnelly (Colm.

Over Packaged?


The Packaging Optimisation Newsletter

Packaging Optimisation in Europe All of the European Union member states and many other countries have national packaging compliance schemes equivalent to Repak. Though there are some variations in what each of those organisations does within its own country and within the terms of its own national legislation, they are all committed to achieving the recycling targets set down in the EU Directives. PRO EUROPE is the

The current work programme includes the following: -

Prevention Indicators Investigating common metrics for packaging prevention that can be used across Europe


Packaging Trends Identifying the reduction of materials in packaging across Europe over the last number of years.


A European Packaging Prevention web-site Setting up a packaging prevention website that can be used by any scheme or member in Europe.


Packaging Prevention Guidelines Gathering best practice from across Europe in packaging waste prevention and packaging optimisation.


Prevention Questionnaires Collating prevention information gathered by different schemes to identify priority areas.

umbrella organisation which represents the interests of national compliance schemes. In its primary role, PRO EUROPE is the general licensor of the Green Dot trademark. It also acts as the authoritative voice and common policy platform representing the interests of all packaging recovery and recycling organisations founded and run by or on behalf of obliged industry.

By tackling these projects at a European level the results will be useful for all of our members, no matter which countries they are trading in. The working group can also benefit from the experience of members that have worked on similar projects in their own countries and individuals can learn of the advantages or disadvantages of projects they are working on from the experience of other schemes.

Repak has been a member of the body since 1999. The exchange of opinions and experience between the various collection and recovery systems is a vital part of the continued implementation of the European Packaging Directive in each EU Member State. One way of doing this is through sub-groups. Repak are now represented on the Packaging Prevention working group. This group meets three or four times a year and concentrates on areas where member countries can help each other to improve packaging optimisation and packaging waste prevention activities.

For further information on the Packaging Prevention working group please contact Colm or John at Repak or view the PRO Europe website at PRO EUROPE’s members span 33 countries: 26 Member States (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom), 2 candidate countries (Turkey, Croatia), Serbia, Norway, Iceland, Ukraine and Canada.



Repak’s Packaging Technology Service

Prevent & Save Website

Repak provide services to their members to help them improve their packaging. These include:

Repak have a website dedicated to packaging optimisation and packaging waste prevention. On it you can find breaking news related to packaging, case studies and toolkits, previous editions of this newsletter and guidance on packaging waste regulation through the ‘SelfAudit’ tool.

Packaging Optimisation Surveys - where a Packaging Technologist will visit a company and produces a report detailing where packaging can be optimised and savings can be made. Case-Studies, Reports and Tools which are aimed at helping Repak member companies optimise their packaging. The prevention web-site where these resources can be accessed. By telephone where advice and direction can be given in relation to packaging design, choices of packaging materials, or how current and future packaging legislation can affect you.

Keep browsing for further details

To avail of any of these services please contact our Packaging Technologists Colm or John at: Colm Munnelly Telephone: 01 461 9237 Email: John Coleman Telephone: 01 461 9229 Email: For enquiries or submissions to Positive Packaging please contact our editor Niamh at: Niamh MacKenzie Telephone: 01 461 9217 Email:

Repak Limited Red Cow Interchange Estate 1 Ballymount Road Clondalkin Dublin 22 Tel: 00 353 1 467 0190 Fax: 00 353 1 467 0197

Positive Packaging, Edition 4, Spring 2011  
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