New Tub Design Reduces Plastic Use by 23% - Mackie’s of Scotland

New Tub Design Reduces Plastic Use by 23%

Together with Muller Technology, Mackie’s have embarked upon a design and engineering optimisation project on their iconic 1 litre ice cream tubs.  The new altered design has seen us reduce the plastic used in each tub by 23.9%. Nevertheless, we’ll still be filling the tubs with the same amount of our delicious ice cream as always.

Old tub design (L) vs. new tub design (R)

Sustainability has long been at the core of our activities. While our focus has traditionally been on energy generation and reducing our overall energy use (we produce twice as much energy as we use), we are always on the lookout for other sustainable initiatives. We were delighted to take this opportunity to work with Muller to reduce the plastic used in our tubs without compromising on their functionality. Lower, more efficient use of the raw materials included in our products will always be more sustainable, and will always be something we are interested in pursuing.

After completing the design-work, the new Muller Technology mould was delivered to the farm last week.

We occasionally receive queries from our consumers around our choice to use plastic (pp5) packaging. In summary, there are a few reasons for this:

  • The current approach allows us to produce all of our tubs on site from pellet form, using four injection moulding machines. Given our remote location, this saves hundreds of thousands of transport miles, which would be necessary were we to purchase pre-made tubs;
  • Pp5 is very good at dealing with the highs and lows in temperature required during our production process, and robust enough to withstand going in/out of the freezer a few times over the life of the product in the consumer’s home; and
  • We intermittently assess the sustainability of our approach versus sensible alternatives. The two reports we have commissioned on the topic so far have both concluded that switching to the plastic-wrapped cardboard that many 500ml tubs come in is not a more sustainable approach. This is because the plastic used to make the inside of the tubs suitable to house ice cream makes the resulting composite material difficult and energy-intensive to recycle, in contrast to pp5 which is easily recyclable.

We’re delighted with the new tubs, and we will continue to look at new technologies and investments to continue on our journey to become: “a global Scottish brand, from the greenest company in Britain, created by people having fun!”