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SafePak tops pack life cycle assessment survey, says IDC

By Jane Byrne , 10-Nov-2008

International Dispensing Corporation (IDC) said a life cycle assessment (LCA) of its large-format Multiserve SafePak showed that it expended the less energy and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than other packaging formats.

The assessment was conducted by packaging consultants, Allied Development Corporation, using its SavvyPack system, which measures energy usage and GHG emissions through each step of the supply chain.

Formats

According to IDC, the report showed that the Multiserve SafePak had the lowest environmental impact of the beverage packaging evaluated, with the other formats in the survey including one gallon high density polyethylene (HDPE) milk jugs, half gallon polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles, and one-litre aseptic cartons:

“Figuring prominently in these results were the low ratio of packaging material to product sold, as well as several factors related to material, processing, transportation, and refrigeration,” said the packaging manufacturer.

The study found that a half-gallon PET bottle utilizes 122.1 per cent more energy and a one gallon aseptic carton utilizes 50.3 per cent more energy than a Multiserve SafePak juice package.

End use

The Allied Development report also analysed end use environmental impacts of each of the packaging formats, factoring in reuse, recycling, compacting, and landfill disposal.

“Due to the minimal amount of packaging, and the composition and flexibility of the package, the SafePak had the lowest end-of-life impact, accounting for 524 cubic feet of landfill for every millionpounds of product, versus 919 cubic feet for standard milk jugs, 1,225 cubic feet for stackable milk jugs, 1,304 cubic feet for aseptic cartons, and 2,994 cubic feet for PET bottles,” said IDC.

Greg Abbott, founder and chairman of IDC said that the company is “continually working to develop ways to reduce our carbon footprint even further and improve our sustainability scores.”

Aseptic tap

He said that the core of its SafePak is a tap designed to prevent microorganisms and oxygen from compromising product safety, nutritional value, and taste - even during unrefrigerated, repeated use.

Branded as 'The Answer', the aseptic tap is made of a polymer-blend that allows users to dispense both low and high acid liquid products from large-format containers without breaking product sterility, claimed Abbott.

The Answer does not allow microorganisms, oxygen, or odours to enter the system, effectively eliminating the need for preservatives and refrigeration, he stated.

Multiserve SafePaks can be used for juices, organic beverages, fortified waters, dairy products, coffees, teas, energy drinks, smoothies, and smooth soups.

"Valuable refrigerated space is gained since consumers can dispense beverages from attractive Multiserve SafePaks positioned anywhere in kitchens, work environments, and recreational areas," stated Abbott,

Processors can also use the multiserve pack as a replacement for multipacks of single-served beverages that require use of extra packaging materials and energy, he added.

Tests by IEH Laboratories and Consulting Group found that the Answer could maintain sterility ‘indefinitely’, after repeated dispensing, in ambient temperatures, IDC claimed.

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