Solid Waste & Recycling


Environmental bags and containers from the U.K.

Horncastle, U.K.-based company DS Smith Sacks is producing a range of paper sacks for collecting and composting gar...

Horncastle, U.K.-based company DS Smith Sacks is producing a range of paper sacks for collecting and composting garden waste. Last year the Bath & NE Somerset Council was awarded government funding to set up a garden waste collection scheme. Following a full evaluation of possible containers it decided to offer householders either wheeled bins or sacks to present their garden waste for collection.

A variety of sacks were considered, from reusable woven plastic bags to biodegradable paper sacks. Current composting schemes necessitate the debagging of plastic sacks and the subsequent disposal to landfill of the contaminated sack. A paper sack not only solves the debagging and disposal issues, but can also be composted together with its contents. DS Smith Sacks at Horncastle developed a sack with specially formulated paper that will break down in normal weather conditions in approximately six weeks. The sacks can hold up to 15 kgs of material and, despite the initial higher unit cost, save money on disposal and debagging charges.

From a slow start this new service has become a success and has received very positive local publicity. The amount of material collected has exceeded predictions with over 2,000 tonnes collected during the first 10 months. The number of paper sacks sold has also surpassed all usage expectations. Almost 40 local outlets have now been established, including village post offices and garages where people can buy the sacks over the counter. Feedback from the public about the sacks has been enthusiastic, because people like their size, their practical large opening, and their general convenience. People see the bags as environment friendly and like being able to store them in their shed or wherever until they are needed.

On another front, a major producer of natural cosmetic products needed to introduce a reusable container for semi-bulk shipments for a variety of products that could also be used as a storage unit and pick-bin. The original half slotted container and stitched cap had proved the correct size, but the caps were seldom returned and tape damage seriously reduced the lifecycle of the containers.

The unique replacement design from DS Smith Tri-Wall utilizes a novel "jig-saw" outer base flap system to simplify make-up, breakdown for flat packed returns and to avoid the need for taping. The inner flaps were increased to meet giving a flat surface for filling irrespective of the product mix. A saloon-style door was introduced in a main panel with a three-quarter length vertical slit, parallel vertical creasing and a cross panel slit at the bottom of the doors. This allowed the two panels to be easily turned back to fold flat against the container where they are held in place by the easy to use locking tabs in both the main body of the case and the doors. The vertical slit extended past the door panels so that an ‘H’ section plastic extrusion slid in place and maintained the integrity of the pack both in storage and transit, with the upper end retained by the cap.

With weights of product approaching 600 kgs the main container material was changed to a double ‘A’ flute material of MOD quality for increased stacking strength. For the pack to be truly reusable the cap was redesigned to be self-locking and as it also had taken on a more structural role the material was changed to a ‘BA’ flute combination that gives both strength and durability.

Since the introduction of the design the cosmetic manufacturer has reported an easier and quicker pack erection with reduced fill times. Equally similar reports are being received from distribution centres and end users alike when unloading. The return rate of flat packed containers has improved and the environmental reputation of the manufacturer has been enhanced.

For further product information please phone 0870 900 9870.

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