The Dairy Roadmap was formed in 2008 with the intention of highlighting and further improving the environmental credentials of Britain’s dairy industry. The taskforce is made up of 25 organisations from across Britain, consisting of farming representatives, retailers, dairy manufacturers, government, and industry partners; truly providing a spectrum of stakeholders across the dairy industry. The report hopes to cement Britain’s position at the forefront of environmental sustainability within the dairy sector, but what does this mean for dairy coding?
Sustainability in the Dairy Industry in 2014
The most recent Environmental Sustainability Report was released in 2013 and lays out a selection of targets in a Dairy Roadmap for the industry, in order to ensure environmental sustainability throughout the sector. The range of hard, time-bound targets outlined by the report are categorised into four sections: 2015 Dairy Farmer Targets, 2020 Dairy Farmer Targets, 2015 Dairy Manufacturer Targets, and 2020 Dairy Manufacturer Targets. This ensures that the targets that have been set cover all areas of the industry, and focus on both short-term and longer-term goals.
One of the main targets for dairy manufacturers for 2015 is to achieve a level of 30% recycled material in High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) milk bottles. 2009 saw the introduction of the first ever milk bottle to include up to 15% recycled High Density Polyethylene (HDPE), so it’s a fairly big step.
The UK’s largest manufacturer of milk polybottles, Nampak, recently announced that it had developed a polybottle that is not only 20% lighter but which will also incorporates 30% recycled materials in its construction– 12 months ahead of the target set by the Dairy Roadmap. Working alongside partner Closed Loop Recycling on the project, Nampak claim that this move to 30% HDPE will reduce the use of virgin HDPE by 25,000 tonnes a year, which will represent a significant cut in Nampak’s carbon footprint.
The hope is that all of the milk bottle manufacturers will follow suit, meaning that if a consumer picks up a milk polybottle in the supermarket they can be sure that it contains 30% recycled material. A national figure of 15% has already been achieved according to Food Manufacture, so we are on track to achieve this goal by 2015.
Looking further forward, the Dairy Roadmap 2013 has set a target of 50% recycled content by 2020, a goal that looks set to be very achievable given the progress that has been made in the industry in the last couple of years.
Dairy Printing & Sustainable Materials
With ever changing substrates in the dairy industry related to this focus on recycling, dairy packers need to keep up more than ever with variable printing demands. They need to know that they can still deliver high quality codes for their customers on different packaging materials.
Luckily, modern digital printing technology can deliver these codes at high resolution on a wide variety of substrates, even on fast moving lines such as in the dairy industry. With a range of CIJ inks available, traversing head functionalities and easy to use interfaces, digital printers are designed to remove errors in operation that will future proof packers against potential changes in the industry, whatever technology you go for be it CIJ, laser, or another for primary or secondary packaging,
To find out more about the solutions available from us here at Linx, have a look at our dairy industry white paper.