Doing more with less. When it comes to designing packaging and products, that means operating more efficiently within the circular and sustainable economic model while using less materials. For many years, Bolton Group has seen how reducing the weight of a product by just a few grams can make an enormous difference and cut the volume of materials used overall by tonnes.
Over the course of 2020, all of our Business Units continued to make good progress in this area. In collaboration with our suppliers, we’ve been able to reduce the thickness of the tops of our Rio Mare 80g food product packaging. This has allowed us to reduce the weight of each can by around 0.5g, which equates to a reduction in steel consumption by 115 tonnes, the equivalent of 4.6 million cans of tuna.
In the Adhesives Business Unit, we’ve enhanced our range of humidity absorbers. Our line of dehumidifiers and refills eliminates excess humidity, condensation and stale odours, increasing the quality of the air in sealed environments. Our new dehumidifiers are produced using 25% less plastic than the previous versions, maintaining the same performance levels. The product design has had a highly positive impact, enabling us to save over 24 tonnes of plastic per year, as well as reducing CO2 emissions produced as a result of transportation activities. Thanks to the enhanced stackability of the components of the dehumidifier, fewer lorries are required to transport them from the country of production to the product assembly location.
In the Home & Personal Care Business Unit, we’re working on our secondary packaging of liquid Neutro Roberts soap products to eliminate plastic and keep the cardboard element only (wrap-around). This move has a range of valuable impacts. By obtaining a single-material secondary packaging, we save 21 tonnes of plastic and 75,900 kWh of electric energy during the production process. This is the equivalent of 750,000 0.5l plastic bottles, or the annual energy consumption of 24 Italian families.
At the Bolton Group site in Calenzano, we have reduced the volume of transparent shrink-wrap used for pallets by 48%, from 31 tonnes in 2019 to 16 tonnes in 2020, by reducing the thickness from 23 microns to 12 microns. We’ve also reduced the thickness of Neutro Roberts aluminium deodorant cans by 10%, thanks to the approval of new metal alloys and the containment of the internal pressure inside the spray cans.
In the Beauty Care Business Unit, we have introduced refills for our make-up products sold in bags. Once the initial product is finished, the inner pod is replaced to ensure that the item can be reused and last in time. The bags themselves have been redesigned to significantly reduce the amount of virgin plastic used. Over 70% of this has been replaced by post-industrial or post-consumption recycled plastic from recovery supply chains.