Arla lays claim to lightest milk bottle crown

By Guy Montague-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Milk Packaging Arla

Arla Foods, through its partnership with Logoplaste, claims to have developed the lightest two pint polybottle for milk in the UK.

At its dairy in Stourton, Leeds, Arla says it has shaved 2 grammes off the average weight for milk polybottles made from high density polyethylene.

The new 25 gramme bottles are being blown on a relatively small scale at present but Arla hopes to roll out the lighter weight bottles as far its facilities permit.

Lightweight project

For the moment they are being produced at Stourton, where its packaging partner Logoplaste has a “hole in the wall” operation. Logoplaste partnered up with Arla since 2003 and began working on the new lightweight bottles back in 2006.

Lighter two pint bottles are not the only result of this project. Arla and Logoplaste have made progress on reducing the weight of six pint bottles.

At the Stourton farm six pint bottles are being produced four grammes lighter than the industry average of 70 grammes and at the Ashby farm they are coming out even lighter at 65 grammes.

Arla has also cutting the weight of its bottle caps from 2.3 grammes to 2 grammes – a reduction that works out at 180 tonnes less plastic a year.

Environmental targets

The weight reductions are part of a company plan laid out in 2006 to reduce its carbon emissions 25 per cent by 2020. Cutting back on packaging weight helps ease carbon emissions by simply reducing the amount of material use.

Over the past three years Arla has reduced its plastic use by 983 tonnes and in 2009 the dairy plans to save a further 150 tonnes.

Programmes to achieve these goals differ between countries as packaging design and material use also differ. Milk bottles found in the UK are significantly different to those in the rest of Europe so the project in the country is not being reproduced identically elsewhere but similar initiatives are being pursued.

Dairy firms in the UK are under pressure to improve the green credentials of their packaging and face a government target of incorporating 10 per cent recycled material in milk bottles by the end of 2010. Arla Foods is “absolutely confident”​ that it will be able to meet this target.

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