Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Light-weight flexible pack for liquid food

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Light-weight flexible pack for liquid food
Light-weight 1 litre pack made from chalk filled PE/PP, weighs just 16g
In Use – The unique packaging format is suitable for liquid food, and has already been used for milk, cream, yoghurt, water and wine. It is supplied as a complete system i.e. with filling machine and packer.

Benefits
Packaging Reduction, Product Waste Reduction

Product Categories
Drinks, Food, Home Improvement, Household & Personal Care

Relevant Materials
Laminates, Liquid Beverage Cartons or other composites, Plastic – Flexible, Other (e.g. soluble sachets )

Relevant Packaging Formats
Flexible & Films

Supply Chain Phase
Consumer, Design, Filling, Production, Raw materials / Ingredients

Details

A light-weight 1 litre pouch-like flexible container made from chalk filled PE/PP. The chalk element represents 40% of the material. The pack which is designed to hold liquid food products weighs only 16g.
 
The packaging is delivered to the manufacturer as a reel and is therefore space efficient during distribution and storage. Once empty, the packaging can be flattened before disposal, therefore taking up less room in the consumer kitchen waste bin. The pack also has an air- filled handle to facilitate consumer use. The flat-bottom design means that the pack stands up steadily. In addition, there is also an easy-open feature.
A life cycle assessment study also demonstrated environmental benefits in terms of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions during production, transport and waste handling. 
 
The soft nature of the material also means the consumer can squeeze out practically 100 % of the content when viscous products like yoghurt are packed. When sold in conventional one litre packages, nearly one deciliter of such products remains in the package and is subsequently thrown away.
 
The package is produced by Ecolean AB and is known as Ecolean Air. A range of packages in different sizes and shapes are offered, and transparent and aseptic alternatives are available.
 
The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

A life cycle assessment study commissioned by Ecolean® demonstrates environmental benefits in terms of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions during production, transport and waste handling, but there are also environmental benefits for the consumer. Maximum 'squeezability' of the package means that the consumer can squeeze almost 100% of a viscous product like yoghurt out of the container, thereby reducing waste. Then, once emptied, the Ecolean® Air  can be easily flattened, occupying less space in the bin and through the waste handling process.

 

Intellectual Property

The entire system (packaging material, filling and packing system, pack design) is the intellectual property of Ecolean AB.

Consultant View

As well as providing some quantifiable life cycle environmental benefits, this pack has potential shelf-appeal and consumer benefits.
 
Although currently targeted at food products, it is possible to imagine this packaging format being used for other non-food liquid products, such as shampoo or liquid laundry detergent.
 
Some other similar technologies that may be of interest on the REID database include -
"Light-weight 2 liter PET drinks bottle" - from Kirin Beverage company
"A 4-sided pouch blow-moulded into a bottle" - A development called Smart Bottle II from Exopack
"A light-weight alternative to large rigid containers" - from Smart Bottle. 
 

Contacts and Further Information

Company contact details:
Ecolean AB
P.O. Box 812
SE-251 08 Helsingborg
Sweden
Tel: +46 42 450 45 00
Email: info@ecolean.se
www.ecolean.com
 
Technology contact:
Peter L Nilsson
Tel: +46 42 450 45 00
Email: info@ecolean.se

 

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