Brewery & beverage industry packaging case study | Lindum Packaging

Switching to recycled content & minimising damaged goods in transit

A renowned national brewery got in touch with Lindum to see if we could help them with some of their sustainability aims; helping them to look at their plastic use and incorporate recycled content plastic into their operations. We did just that, helping them to:

  • Eliminate 2,106kg of virgin plastic usage annually
  • Use 4,739kg less CO2 annually
  • Eliminate 471kg of carboard waste, through less cardboard cores
  • Improve pallet stability, resulting in less damaged goods in transit

The challenge

The brewer came to Lindum in the run up to the Plastic Packaging Tax (PPT) wanting to look at switching their current pallet wrap over to recycled content options. In a bid to reduce virgin plastic, whilst avoiding PPT liability, recycled content stretch film was the route they wanted for their pallet packaging.

Unfortunately, their current provider couldn’t help with the supply of recycled content products, so they turned to the team at Lindum to see if we could offer any solutions that could meet their sustainability goals.

Reducing virgin plastic, and solving pallet stability issues at the same time

With a clear aim for moving to recycled content stretch film in advance of the PPT, Lindum’s task was clear. But simply switching from one film to another isn’t as simple as it sounds, and can throw up a range of problems if not done correctly. So the Lindum team spent a day at the brewery to undertake an audit of their pallet packaging operations.

After undertaking a packaging audit, the team analysed the existing film – a fibre film, with the existing wrapping machines that were in use. After trialling a number of new recycled content films, the best results came from Lindum’s 15mu Carestretch recycled content nano film – which worked perfectly on the existing high-speed wrappers. Not only was the national brewers benefitting from incorporating a recycled content product, but all the benefits that nano technology brings to pallet wrapping as well.

With the benefit of having the only UK mobile pallet test facility, not only were we able to advise on what film was best to use, but we could carry out trials of different films and show how well they were performing by testing wrapped pallets, on site too. The beauty of the test lab is not only the fact it’s mobile, but that you can trial different products and see the results in real time.

By carrying out an audit before trialling new films, Lindum ensured that we could optimise the gears on the wrapping machine to ensure they were correct for the film being used, and also ensured that the right amount of film was being used – meaning no excess packaging.

Results and long term benefits

Through a combination of trialling different films, having the unique mobile test facility on hand to see real time results, and benefitting from a wide recycled content product range, Lindum could meet the expectations and sustainability goals of this well renowned brewer.

As well as simply making the switch over to a recycled content stretch film, we managed to see huge benefits in the numbers too. By switching to a recycled content stretch film, the brewery saw annual reductions of 2,106kg of virgin plastic used, 4,739kg of associated CO2 as well as 471kg in less cardboard pallet roll cores.

Although our task was to help move over to recycled content products, through the audit that was carried out, we were also able to help with pallet stability problems they were encountering too.

Currently dealing with the issue of pallets falling over, with our mobile test lab there on site we could take the first steps to look at the root causes, and what can be done to improve pallet stability and ultimately help them eliminate damaged goods in transit.

It is estimated that up to 11% of goods arrive damaged at their final destination. With this in mind, the costs associated with poor pallet stability for the brewer are substantial. Making the switch to the nano recycled content film made significant improvements, which the test lab could test and show in real time testing. Working closely with the brewery, further pallet stability solutions are ongoing to continuously improve pallet performance and pallet stability further.

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