Creating a more sustainable gallon jug for milk.

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85% of fluid milk in the USA is packaged in monolayer HDPE packaging, with the result that any reduction in the amount of plastic used can have a major impact on reducing the carbon footprint.
This presentation discusses the results of studies of a progression of ways in which the amount of plastic used in the creation of gallon jugs can be reduced.
–Light-weighting through container design.
–Adding calcium carbonate as a filler.
–Light-Weighting + optimizing for calcium carbonate filler.
These results meet recommendations coming out of the Life Cycle Analysis study conducted by the Innovation Center for US Dairy which recommended light-weighting or container weight reduction as a key focus area for improvement in the supply chain impact of fluid milk.
A recipe for the gallon jug of the future is presented, and the hypothesis made that “Integrated Design” will be the next frontier in creating a more sustainable gallon jug for milk.

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  • Dear Gail,
    Thanks for helpful presentation. I think CaCO3 can be used more in packaging industry and OMYA is the best supplier of this material in the world.
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Creating a more sustainable gallon jug for milk.

  1. 1. Creating A More Sustainable Gallon Jug For Milk Dr Gail Barnes, Partner, Personify LLC International Dairy Show Monday, November 4, 2013 - 12:30PM - 12:50PM Booth 1074 - iDairyShow Theater Chicago, IL
  2. 2. Summary • 85% of fluid milk in the USA is packaged in monolayer HDPE packaging, with the result that any reduction in the amount of plastic used can have a major impact on reducing the carbon footprint. • This presentation will discuss the results of studies of a progression of ways in which the amount of plastic used in the creation of gallon jugs can be reduced. – Light-weighting through container design. – Adding calcium carbonate as a filler. – Light-Weighting + optimizing for calcium carbonate filler. • These results meet recommendations coming out of the Life Cycle Analysis study conducted by the Innovation Center for US Dairy which recommended light-weighting or container weight reduction as a key focus area for improvement in the supply chain impact of fluid milk. • A recipe for the gallon jug of the future will be presented, and the hypothesis made that “Integrated Design” will be the next frontier in creating a more sustainable gallon jug for milk.
  3. 3. Packaging Principles • Packaging should: – Be fit for purpose. – Be the lightest weight possible. – Use materials from the most sustainable sources. – Maximize opportunities for recovery and recycling. – Be designed to have the lowest carbon impact. – Be aesthetically pleasing and convenient to use.
  4. 4. U.S. Fluid Milk Infographic Source: Principles of a measurement framework: application to processing and packaging technologies. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo, Las Vegas, NV, June 27, 2012
  5. 5. U.S. Fluid Milk Carbon Footprint
  6. 6. Processing & Packaging LCA • Comprehensive LCA of fluid milk delivery systems in the U.S. • Assessment of environmental impacts of 18 fluid milk packaging and delivery options. Source: Principles of a measurement framework: application to processing and packaging technologies. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo, Las Vegas, NV, June 27, 2012
  7. 7. Fluid Milk Delivery Systems Studied Source: Principles of a measurement framework: application to processing and packaging technologies. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo, Las Vegas, NV, June 27, 2012
  8. 8. Climate Change Impact Assessment Source: Principles of a measurement framework: application to processing and packaging technologies. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo, Las Vegas, NV, June 27, 2012
  9. 9. Non-Renewable Fossil Energy Assessment Source: Principles of a measurement framework: application to processing and packaging technologies. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo, Las Vegas, NV, June 27, 2012
  10. 10. Processing & Packaging LCA Conclusion • Differences between systems are relatively small. • Comparative assertions of performance are not supported. • Differences between systems are largely defined by container material and mass. Source: Comprehensive life cycle assessment of fluid milk delivery systems, 8th International Conference on Life Cycle Assessment in the Agri-Food sector, Saint-Malo, France, Oct. 1-4, 2012
  11. 11. Recommendations For Improvement In Supply Chain Impact • Container – Container weight reduction, especially in on-the-go systems. – Improved use of distribution packaging that can be used many times. – Reduce energy use which improves multiple impact category effects. • Processing plant – Energy efficiency would directly lower impact to climate change and costs. – Water use and wastewater reduction in processing plant which will affect eutrophication mitigation, and cost reduction. – Avoid sewage overload which is the main contributor to nitrogen emission to water and cause of eutrophication. – Evaluate wastewater treatment discharges for potential reduction in human toxicity, and eco toxicity, cost savings. – Optimize out-of-date (from distribution and retail center) milk return and use as feed. Source: Principles of a measurement framework: application to processing and packaging technologies. Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo, Las Vegas, NV, June 27, 2012
  12. 12. Study 1: Light-Weighting Through Container Design 12% weight savings through optimized design alone Source: Uniloy
  13. 13. Study 2: Adding Calcium Carbonate As A Filler • Recycling recovery rate of 99% with CaCO3 levels up to 8%. • CaCO3 compounded in a master batch, doesn't require changes to equipment except for the addition of a material blender. Source: Uniloy and Omya
  14. 14. Study 3: Light-Weighting + Optimizing For Calcium Carbonate Filler • Required optimizing design to regain top load e.g. – Tucked in handle. – Ribs on bottom and shoulder. • 54g bottle possible. Source: Uniloy
  15. 15. Future Possibilities – Adding Recycled Content • Arla UK’s bottles already made of 15% rHDPE. • Bottles made with 50% post-consumer recycled content will be produced at Arla's new Aylesbury dairy. Source: Arla Foods, Plastics Today
  16. 16. Future Possibilities – Using Bio-Resins • Bio-plastics are plastics made using ethanol from renewable resources such as sugarcane and corn or crop waste. • Any grade of HDPE or LDPE can be made using the biopolymer. • Up to 30% bio-resin content envisaged.
  17. 17. Recipe For Tomorrow’s Gallon Jug? • For a 56g gallon jug: – 29.7g virgin HDPE reduces the amount of virgin HDPE by more than 50%! – 16.8 grams biopolymer. – 5.6 grams rHDPE. – 3.9 grams calcium carbonate. Today’s gallon jug
  18. 18. “Integrated Design” Is The Next Frontier • Using the minimum input and getting maximum use of materials at the end. • Can only come about by the value chain working together: – Raw materials suppliers. – Equipment manufacturers, e.g. of blow molding equipment. – Distribution equipment manufacturers, e.g. of crate packing equipment. – Processors/brand owners. – Retailers.
  19. 19. Thank You www.linkedin.com/in/gailbarnes @DrGailB

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