Significant environmental benefits can come from simply reducing the weight of a product by a few grams, or from a complete change in materials and design. Examples can be found in high-volume consumer goods – and it’s never too late to make a product or its packaging green. Nolato Medical Pharma Packaging explains how simple measures can go a long way.

As a supplier of rigid plastic packaging for pharmaceuticals, Nolato Medical Pharma Packaging produces hundreds of millions of caps a year, making material efficiency an important consideration. After a history of producing the SC cap, part of the Cerbo Classic range, another version of the cap was developed. Glenn Svedberg, managing director of Nolato Medical Pharma Packaging explains, "This new cap cuts down on the amount of plastic raw material required, and at the same time we’ve worked hard to reduce waste during manufacturing, and therefore reduce costs."

Light touch

The SC Light cap weighs 30% less than the previous product, which reduces energy consumption during manufacturing as less plastic raw material needs to be heated and then cooled down again. The manufacturing flow has also been optimised. Since the caps are used for pharmaceutical products, they have undergone extensive validation of function and performance before being approved. "A few grams here and there can really contribute to better environmental performance," Svedberg says.

Another example involves the Midsona brand Triomega. The manufacturer, Vitamex, decided to give its Triomega product a facelift with a new package, staking out design requirements that included better visibility, adequate label space, reduced environmental impact and lower manufacturing cost. The new bottle is produced in lightweight, white, recyclable polypropylene.

Dennis Broberg, development manager at Nolato Cerbo explains, "The shape itself should improve visibility on the shelf while making space for larger labels with a premium-brand feel."

This package was first introduced in the Norwegian market and is now also available in other markets. The requirement of good visibility on store shelves was clearly met, and, as Broberg concludes, "From an environmental and cost standpoint, the project was successful. Compared with an aluminium can, the new packaging reduces carbon dioxide emissions by 45% and production cost has been cut by half."

Green goals

Sustainability work is essential for sound business operations. Taking sustainability aspects into account is therefore a normal feature of customer and supplier relationships, transport, and in the development of products and production processes.

Nolato Medical Pharma Packaging has a comprehensive system to gather data within the field of sustainability, establish goals and follow up on the results. This also involves the certification of all production units in accordance with environmental management system ISO 14001, and reviewing and performing systematic audits to ensure that all suppliers meet the requirements of Nolato Group’s code of conduct and environmental policy.

Specialists in developing and manufacturing container and closure systems that include child-resistant and tamper-evident technology, ideal for tablet, cream, liquid, Ophthalmics and powder products, Nolato Medical Pharma Packaging is the umbrella for two big brands in healthcare packaging: Jaycare and Cerbo. It offers 350 wide-ranging standard products as well as bespoke packaging solutions.