The evolution of the plastic milk bottle

Nampak Plastics introduces Infini® – a major evolution in the design of the plastic milk bottle. Infini is specifically designed to be lightweighted and has significant benefits over the standard bottle. It offers an average 15% weight saving with specific bottle sizes achieving savings as high as 21%, whilst continuing to meet current performance specifications.

The positioning of the handle at a corner edge of the bottle means it can be placed facing outwards in the fridge, making it easier to remove. Recent research confirms the consumer prefers this, with nearly three-quarters of respondents finding it easier to grasp the Infini handle than that of the standard bottle.

The ultra-lightweight Infini bottle is an exclusively Nampak-led initiative developed by the innovation team at Nampak and will drive a total required investment plan of around £9 million on implementing the bottle range in addition to the £1 million spent on developing the design. Nampak’s total production of milk bottles will move to the Infini design over the next few years, but the first Infini bottles will be in the market by summer 2011.

The objective in designing Infini was to reduce the weight of materials used in its production without affecting the bottle’s requirement to be ‘fit for purpose’. This is achieved with a new design that does not force the material as far into each of the bottle’s corners. In reducing the distance to the corners of the bottle there is a considerable reduction in the weight of material required.

James Crick, Business Development Director Nampak comments: “Our customers have consistently asked for lighter weight bottles that will not only run down their existing lines but will also help them further to achieve the Government and industry targets such as Courtauld Commitment 2 and the current Milk Roadmap. Previously lightweighting has been achieved by using less material in making the standard bottle, but there is a limit to how thin the walls can be and still be fit for purpose. Nampak has gone back to first principles and changed the bottle design so it requires less material to manufacture. Infini gives our customers and retailers a real opportunity to respond to environmental impact pressures and contributes to cost reduction opportunities in terms of the manufacture.”

Infini has been trialled by a number of Nampak’s major customers and by consumer test panels with particularly positive and encouraging feedback.

The HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) Infini bottle is fully recyclable and consumers can recycle it in the same way as standard bottles. At launch, the Infini bottle will contain over 10% recycled material (rHDPE) with a target of up to 50% by 2020.

Infini will be made in the full range of metric and imperial sizes with weight savings of between 11–21% dependent on size. This significant weight reduction and the associated reduction in materials will result in a saving of approximately 10,000 tonnes of material and will deliver a saving of 23,000 tonnes of carbon annually.

 

To find out more about Infini please visit www.infinibottle.com