Supported by environmental organization Greenpeace, Austrian milk producer Berglandmilch decided to replace its one-way packaging with reusable glass bottles. They contacted DW Reusables, formally DS Smith, for the design and production of a new crate.
Berglandmilch wants to reduce waste with reusable bottles. The largest domestic milk processing company started offering milk in one-liter returnable bottles and contacted DW Reusables to design a reusable custom crate for the transport of the bottles.
Beverage crates are a true example of a circular economy. Their lifecycle is purposely designed to be circular. They are highly durable and are guaranteed to have a full 10-year life-cycle under rigorous manipulation procedures. When the crates finally reach their useful end-of-life, they are reground and re-purposed into new crates. This process can be repeated endlessly, decoupling packaging from raw material consumption.
Furthermore, beverage crates are a prime example of a ‘first-to-last mile’ secondary packaging solution, meaning the packaging that is used at the production lines, is also the packaging that the end-consumer takes home, and brings back to the store for reuse.
“In the past few years many recycling initiatives have been launched,” stated Rudi Raskin, Vice President Sales of DW Reusables. “However, the waste hierarchy goes to reduce, reuse and recycle, in that order. Our beverage crates can be used for decades, reducing tons of one-way packaging waste. After their useful long lives, they are fully recyclable. For this reason, many of our customers are investing in reusable packaging and are switching back to reusable bottles and crates.”
The environmental protection organization Greenpeace provided Berglandmilch with their know-how. She described reusable bottles when presenting the project as the most environmentally friendly solution to reduce packaging waste for beverages. The joint message is that this conserves resources and protects the climate. Greenpeace sees reusable as the only solution to reduce packaging waste in beverages and to combat the plastic crisis.
“As the largest dairy in Austria, we want to become a pioneer in terms of climate protection,” added Josef Braunshofer, managing director of Berglandmilch. “Supported by Greenpeace, we are therefore switching to reusable milk bottles this year. As a result, a single returnable bottle replaces eleven disposable glass bottles, so we only need a fraction of the same amount of packaging for the same amount of packaging.”
Berglandmilch is an Austrian milk producer that supplies milk to 11,000 diary suppliers. The company invested eight million euros in the switch to a sustainable filling and washing system in Aschbach. From here, the central stores of the trading partners are supplied with milk in one-liter returnable bottles. The production of the previous disposable glass bottles has been discontinued.