Little Green Beverages goes green

As sustainability makes waves in the corporate world, members of the food and beverage industry have begun to follow suit and take the necessary steps to go green. Little Green Beverages (LBG), manufacturers of the carbonated drink line Refreshhh brand, recently did an overhaul of their Isando factory in Johannesburg, in a bid to become completely eco-efficient
Speaking to director Lyle Batchelor, the concept of being eco-efficient has always been on the cards for the manufacturer, it was merely a matter of the right time: “Our main focus for the company was to do the right thing with regards to our overall carbon footprint. In so doing, we were faced with the task of looking at our whole supply chain and seeing where we were able to reduce our carbon footprint. We
started with collaborations with our suppliers, encouraging partnerships that support our sustainability stance and furthermore exploring partnerships that will in turn be mutually beneficial.” LGB furthermore reduced part of their carbon emissions by purchasing a number of new delivery trucks which boast light
weight bodies.
According to Batchelor, LGB found a perfect partner in Extrupet Group (Pty)Ltd, a modern recycling operation, dedicated to the recycling of post-consumer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles company also based in Johannesburg. Joint managing director at Extrupet, Chandru Wadhwani explains that it is a phenomenal step LGB is taking, “The volume of waste generated was growing faster than the recycling habits in South Africa. On the other hand our landfills are also inadequate and not entirely safe. The ability to recycle post-consumer bottles back into new PET bottles will help ensure the long-term viability of PET plastics recycling in South Africa. The resin will be used in new carbonated soft drink bottles for LGB.”
LGB partnered with a preform manufacture who uses a percentage R-Pet produced by Extrupet in a newly
designed preform for LGB. The preform is reheated in the green oven which is made out of ceramic heaters using less energy. The blower will then work at a lesser pressure resulting in further energy efficiency. This is truly a first of its kind in carbonated drinks; the goal has always been to move from just bottling water to carbonated soft drink with PhoenixPET.
Wadhwani explains further: “PhoenixPET has the capability to provide a level of quality assurance to meet the growing local and regional demand in the bottle and thermoforming industry (the food, beverage and packaging market) for environmentally friendly and sustainable packaging. PhoenixPET is to be viewed
as a bench-mark for other recycled polymers as well as packaging mediums aspiring to attain a cradle-to-cradle solution for sustainable packaging.
Convertors and brand owners can now strengthen their corporate image with a sustainable message in all their products. By using food grade recycled PET, the demand for virgin material is decreased, less energy is used and a huge reduction in net carbon emissions achieved.
Both Batchelor and Wadhwani agree that the aseptic system machinery provided by Italian company SIPA, has
allowed for this revolutionary process to occur without passing the expenditure to consumers and retailers. Says Batchelor, “The investment from LGB, in the form of this highly technologically advanced
equipment, as costly as it was will not directly impact consumers via price changes. As it is a well-known fact,recycled material does cost more but the investment was never driven by returns but rather by carbon costing.”
So committed is LBG to reducing its carbon footprint that in the near future it will be upgrading the existing line to meet the standard of the new aseptic line along with inserting a new reverse osmosis water plant that will enable them to use recycled water for in-house use prior to dumping.
Little Green Beverages: Tel 011-865-2598;;

PhoenixPET plant in Wadeville, Johannesburg was recently relaunched and now includes a state of the art Bottle-2-Bottle recycling plant furnished with Starlinger recycling technology, specially engineered to
fulfil the expectations and standards needed for bottles for carbonatedsoft drink, bottled water and all other forms of PET packaging. The whole expansion is worth R75-million. The plant is ISO 9001:2008 accredited and we use what we call NIR (near infrared) auto sort technology which is a first on the
continent. The system is such that the plastic bottles are automatically sorted by polymer types