Positive Packaging, Edition 8, Summer 2014

Page 1

Positive Packaging The Prevent & Save Newsletter: Summer 2014

Spotlight on Member Activity Innovative packaging solutions and how to design packaging for recycling

In This Issue New packaging products from Atlas Box & Crating How Shabra recycle PET and where you can help


Welcome to Positive Packaging. If you have topics or issues you wish to share with Repak and the wider community please send them to:

This edition is focussed on two of our members and on the different types of packaging and materials they work with.

Positive Packaging, Repak Limited, Red Cow Interchange Estate, 1, Ballymount Road, Clondalkin, Dublin 22. Telephone: 01 467 0190 Email: info@repak.ie

Atlas Box & Crating are based in Carrigtwohill in County Cork and aim to manage all of the packaging needs of the companies they work for. Recently they have come up with some new packaging concepts to improve the sustainability of their customers packaging. These include trays made from bamboo pulp, Fibre/Core which is a wood repalcement and ‘Airpaq’ which is a method of cushioning products by blowing air into LDPE cells to suit particular packaging needs.

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. Printed copy or e-mail version? Repak would love to hear your views on how we should publish this newsletter in future. Positive Packaging is produced and compiled by: Colm Munnelly, John Coleman and Niamh MacKenzie; Membership Services Department of Repak Ltd. Design: Baseline CS

The second feature in this edition focusses on Shabra Recycling based in Castleblaney in County Monaghan. Shabra have been recycling different packaging materials in Ireland for nearly 25 years. Shabra outline the different steps in the recycling of PET and some of the areas that packaging manufacturers might consider when designing their packs to ensure that the used packaging can be recycled as efficiently as possible. We hope you find these articles interesting and useful. If you have any other aspects of packaging which you would like us to focus on in future editions then please get in contact with us and we will be more than happy to address. So, give us a call on 01 4670190 or email any of the team – contact details of which can be found on the last page of this newsletter. We look forward to hearing from you.

Packaging Optimisation The Packaging Optimisation Newsletter


Packaging a Greener Globe... Atlas Box & Crating Co. Ireland Ltd. provides a ‘one-stop-shop’ for innovative, high quality, affordable packaging solutions. For more information visit www.atlasbox.ie . Design for Environment For many years now, Atlas Box & Crating Co. Ireland Ltd has been helping companies to reduce / re-design their packaging in an effort to lower both resource-usage and waste.

Atlas also offers a service to design packs for Re-use / Recycling by Clients. The recycling process can be managed at the Atlas Production facility by keeping packs in a loop that are collected by Atlas, checked and reworked at Atlas and delivered back to the Customer for re-use. Benefits include…. •

Significant cost reductions for the Client

Reduced resource usage

Reduce waste

This is done through their free-of-charge, on-site Packaging Assessments, the benefits of which include….. • Eliminating over-packaging of product •

Swapping current packaging materials for more recyclable / biodegradable / sustainable materials

Maximizing pallet configuration, storage & transport efficiency

Reducing carbon footprint

Reducing packaging, storage and freight costs for the Client.


A certified ISTA packaging Test Lab is on-site for testing new packs if required.

Bamboo Pulp Trays Providing an alternative to paper pulp, foam and corrugated cushioning, bamboo is considered one of the most sustainable plants on the planet.


Packaging Optimisation The Packaging Optimisation Newsletter

Sustainable, Ethically Sourced Plywood

Elliotis Pine and Eucalyptus plywood are stronger than Chinese Poplar plywood and have a face thickness of 2mm+. These 100% sustainable plywoods tick all the boxes for environmental responsibility. They are traceable to replanted FSC/PEFC certified forests, guaranteeing the legality of the timber, sustainable production, and traceability throughout the supply chain. They are EUTR compliant and CARB compliant. Both species grow to maturity in 15-20 years.

Bamboo... • is capable of growing 24 inches a day; • doesn’t require pesticides or fertilizers; • absorbs five times more CO2 than trees and produces 35% more oxygen; • is certified for both recyclability and compostability; • can be REACH, RoHS and FDA 21CFR175177 compliant; • can be harvested without killing the plant; • poles mature in 4-7 years, compared to 30-50 for hardwood trees. When FSC certified, waterways, wildlife habitat and species are protected. Indigenous Peoples’ rights are respected and local people are involved in forest management. Most of the water used in the pulping process is reclaimed and rice hull (waste from rice harvesting) is used to fuel the process.

Bamboo absorbs five times more CO2 than trees and produces 35% more oxygen

100% sustainable plywood ticks all the boxes for environmental responsibility

Atlas Fibre/Core

100% recyclable and traceable to FSC-certified forests, Fibre/Core provides a lighter, sustainable alternative to wood and plywood for building crates, skids and pallets. It weighs up to 50% less than wood and can substitute wood where performance is vital but the use of wood is restricted, e.g. ISPM15 compliance. It is safer/easier to handle as it is free of chips, splinters and nail heads and can be processed with traditional wood equipment. Users benefit from material cost reductions, package weight reduction and freight savings.

Fibre/Core provides a lighter, sustainable alternative to wood for building crates, skids and pallets.

5 Atlas AirPaq Cushioning

AirPaq uses ordinary air in a multi-chambered bag coupled with single valve technology for individual cell cushioning. Using co-extruded recyclable film (#4 LDPE), it provides for shock and vibration protection over a wide loading range, withstanding temperature and altitude extremes. Individual cushion cells ensure the integrity of the cushion is not compromised if a single cell is punctured.

AirPaq offers substantial cost savings versus traditional foam plastic, plastic film / corrugated, or vacuum formed plastic cushions. It uses less energy to manufacture, less raw materials, is volumetrically smaller and uses 100% recyclable materials.

AirPaq uses ordinary air in a multi-chambered bag for individual cell cushioning.

Airpaq Case Studies CS1: A customer switched from thermoformed cushions to AirPaq, with the following benefits: 1. The 3.5� AirPaq cushions weigh less than thermoformed cushions by 42%. 2. Overall size of the corrugated container has been reduced by 53%. 3. AirPaq cushions are supplied pre-inflated, thereby providing 97% increase in pallet efficiency.

About the Author

Margaret Walsh is Quality / Environmental Manager at Atlas Box & Crating Co. Ireland Ltd, widely regarded as one of the most innovative packaging companies in Ireland, and indeed the world.

CS2: Another customer switched from 2 PE endcaps to 2 AirPaq endcaps, which led to a reduction of 72 sets / pallet to 5,000 sets (69 pallets to 1), resulting in reduced costs in storage, freight, materials and waste. CS3: Meanwhile another customer changed from packing 250 LCD monitors in Instafoam and into 16 different boxes to all monitors being packed in AirPaq and in just three different boxes. This resulted in a cleaner, chemical-free process, with reduced waste and a reduction in the cost of materials used.

The company is extremely forward thinking with regard to the sustainability of its products and services, embracing the conservation of natural resources and the transformation of waste materials and underutilised resources into usable product. For more information, see www.atlasbox.net.


Case Study The Packaging Optimisation Newsletter

Shabra Recycling In this feature on the Shabra Group we outline what happens during the collection and sorting of packaging materials at their Monaghan plant and then investigate how the recycled material is used and the various products Shabra manufacture from this valuable resource. The Shabra Group was founded nearly 25 years ago by Rita Shah (Sha-) and her business partner Oliver Brady (-bra), hence the name Shabra. Based in Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan, Shabra Recycling is a fine example of a closed loop recycling process for recovering Polyethylene (PE) & Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) and the company now employs a staff of 70 people and has a throughput of over 15,000 tonnes of PET per annum.

technology in optical scanners to segregate the different types of plastics. An eddy current machine is used to remove aluminium materials into a separate stream and likewise a magnet draws the ferrous materials into yet another stream. At the end of the process a small amount of residual material remains and this will then be set aside for removal to a waste to energy incinerator to maximise the sustainability of the non-recyclable fraction. Stage 2 – Cleansing Process: After the plastic materials have found their separate streams all the labels, impurities and other unnecessary material are then stripped away during the cleansing process to make sure that the quality of the end product is perfectly maintained. The aluminium, ferrous and paper/board materials are baled and sent onwards for further processing to other recycling companies. Stage 3 – Shredding: Once the PET materials have been cleaned of foreign matter it is then washed and granulated into flakes which make it easier to reprocess. The remaining caps and labels float off and the PET sinks and goes through multiple washings before it is thoroughly cleaned. Stage 4 - Washing & Drying: After shredding, the material undergoes separation process’s including sink-float / air separation etc. in order to further remove unwanted contaminants / foreign materials. The end result is a uniform single component type plastic stream which can be re-used for various applications.

The Recycling Process: Stage 1 – Collection & Sorting: Shabra maintains its own transport fleet to collect recyclable material. This is then brought back to the Castleblaney plant where it is segregated into individual material streams via several optical and conveyor systems. Firstly paper and cardboard is seperated by means of a ballistic separator before the rest of the material flows onwards where Shabra then make use of the the latest

Stage 5 - Quality Control & Analysis: After Stage 4, samples are taken for testing. Here the flake is tested and is tagged by its specifications which is then sent for manufacturing of products according to their tagged specifications. Stage 6 - Pelletisation: PE goes through the same process as PET but goes one stage further and is pelletised. This final stage involves the melting of processed waste and converting it again into small pellets. These pellets are in turn used for the manufacturing of new products on-site. Shabra also export pelletised recycled plastic material to overseas customers.

7 Shabra Product Range: Shabra Recycling’s sister company - Shabra Polymex - extrudes and manufactures recycled and virgin food grade bags & sacks as well as tubing. These products include bin-liners, exhibition bags, promotional bags and reuasable ‘bags for life’. Shabra also provide an extensive range of catering supplies and safety equipment - these can be ordered online at www.shabraonline.com.

Room For Improvement: There are a number of areas where improvements could be made along the packaging lifecycle which would improve recycling rates for Shabra even further. These include: • Careful consideration of materials choice when initially designing packaging. • Plastic bottles with their tops fastened and which are fully pressurised can cause issues with the conveyors detection systems. This issue can be eliminated by the consumer squeezing the air out of the bottle before applying the bottle cap and placing it in the recycling bins. • Foreign contaminants contained within packaging containers such as crisp packets stuffed into mineral bottles or cigarette ashes tipped into drinks cans. These scenarios lead to increased cost and less quality when encountered in the recycling process. • Co-mingled material such as cardboard, paper, aluminium and other metal gets compacted and intertwined with the plastic bottles which can cause some good plastic bottles to be rejected by the sorting equipment. This cross contamination issue can also lead to good cardboard, paper and metals being rejected at their reprocessing plants for the same reason. For more information on any of Shabra’s processes or products please contact Shabra’s Managing Director Rita Shah on (042) 974 9444, email info@shabra.com or visit www.shabra.com.



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 ‘Self-Audit’ 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 www.preventandsave.ie 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 www.preventandsave.ie 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: colm.munnelly@repak.ie John Coleman Telephone: 01 461 9229 Email: john.coleman@repak.ie For enquiries or submissions to Positive Packaging please contact Colm or John at the above addresses.

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