Passionate about sustainability and the delivery of high quality milk, Inex is a 100% privately owned company in the heart of Belgium. It exports 50% of its production to neighbouring countries and produces a variety of authentic dairy products including fresh and long-life UHT milk, dairy drinks, cream and other milk derivatives. The milk is exclusively collected from local Belgian farmers and Inex has established a long-term relationship with its suppliers. Inex manufactures private labels for leading retailers as well as products under its own name.
To increase production capacity and simultaneously reduce its environmental footprint, Inex has cooperated closely with Sidel to design and install the new aseptic packaging line that will package its UHT milk in a safe, sustainable and user-friendly PET bottle.
Environmental considerations drive PET packaging decision
To help Inex better understand the benefits of moving from carton to white PET, Sidel supported Inex in verifying experiences and also by visiting a similar installation. “Sidel was an excellent cooperation partner. All viewpoints they offered made it clear to us how beneficial the new line would be,” comments Steven Dierickx, CEO at Inex. Some of the most important considerations focused on the fact that PET is not only a perfect match for safe and shelf-stable low acid products, but that it is also a 100% closed-loop recyclable material. In addition, production with Sidel’s Aseptic Combi Predis™, a blow-fill-seal solution with dry preform and cap sterilisation, is much more environmentally friendly. No water is consumed and very few chemicals are used to sterilise the bottle during production.
The new PET packaging for Inex’s UHT milk (skimmed, fat, etc.) in 0.5 L and 1 L formats stands out from the crowd when compared to traditional carton packaging. The white PET bottle ensures stable light barrier properties for long-life and product integrity without any aluminium foil. Sidel worked closely with the preform supplier to guarantee the preform injection quality and validate the bottle neck and cap tightness with its unique B180 test, ensuring no leakage from the bottle when horizontally stored in the fridge. “The new PET bottle contains a minimum of 25% recycled PET, is 20% lighter than other plastic (PE) bottles and therefore has a 20% lower CO2 footprint,” comments Steven Dierickx.