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Agentschap NL - Three Product Innovations with Plastic

Kwartje brood

Partner: Dutch Rubber and Plastics Industry (NRK)
Companies: Oerlemans Plastics, Timmerije and Schoeller Arca Systems
Period: 2011 – 2012

Three Dutch plastics manufacturers have developed three new products that reduce environmental impact. The products were developed during the project ‘Durable Plastic Products’, organised by Partners for Innovation and the Dutch Rubber and Plastic Industry Federation (NRK), as part of the long-term agreement on energy efficiency (MJA). Oerlemans Plastics wraps bread in smaller portions, Timmerije investigates alternative materials for an energy efficient conveyor belt and Schoeller Arca Systems produces a lighter and foldable crate for supply to supermarkets.

At the end of June 2012, the three innovation were presented:

  • Less food waste: Oerlemans Plastics worked with its customer Beko Packaging on a smarter bread packaging to reduce disposal of bread by consumers.
  • Replacement harmful substances: Timmerije and her client Vanderlande Industries conducted research into alternative materials for plastic parts of the Crossorter, an energy-efficient conveyor belt for distribution.
  • Material and energy reduction: Schoeller Arca Systems designed a plastic logistics system for the retail market together with an FMCG client .

To improve sustainability in the chain, the three plastic manufacturers worked throughout the project closely with their clients. Partners for Innovation guided the process with various activities such as: training team members in the field of EcoDesign, mapping out technical developments by topic, research for suitable sustainable plastics and flame retardants, conducting environmental analysis such as life cycle analysis ( LCA) and managing the design process. NL Agency financed the project. NRK took care of the coordination with its members.

Sustainable Product Design
Product innovations can significantly improve environmental and social impact during the lifecycle. The product design phase is the ideal time to investigate opportunities to make the chain more sustainable. Partners for Innovation helps companies to optimize products and processes, among other things through Ecodesign training, life cycle analysis (LCA) and the implementation of cradle to cradle strategies.

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