Celebrating the production of one million sustainable ACP trays

Vanderlande is proud to announce the production of its one millionth automated case picking (ACP) tray made entirely from recycled plastic. This achievement not only reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to environmental responsibility, but also acknowledges the dedicated efforts of its team, and the collaborative partnership with its suppliers.

Efforts to develop a more sustainable solution began in 2014, when Vanderlande initiated the design of its ACP trays with the goal of minimising the use of virgin plastic. Initially the tray was made using post-consumer materials, and then in 2019 it was upgraded to include a floating base.

After two years of meticulous testing at its Veghel and Siegen manufacturing sites, as well as with its trusted supplier, the company successfully introduced trays and bases made from 100% post-consumer polypropylene (PCP). Each tray not only demonstrates Vanderlande’s commitment to the sustainable use of precious resources, but also contributes to a significant reduction in carbon emissions with a saving of 5.2 kg of CO2 per tray.

With one million of the new ACP trays now in circulation with approximately ten customers, the company can celebrate a reduction in the use of 1.6 million kg of virgin polypropylene. While 900,000 virgin plastic bases remain in the field, the latest production of 100,000 post-consumer bases has been achieved using 160,000 kg of post-consumer polypropylene.

The most significant hurdles to manufacturing the tray included perfecting the base, which took longer to produce from PCP. Welding the base properly, and achieving the desired colour and gloss presented difficulties that required innovative solutions. Lessons from earlier batch production led to adjustments in plastic material composition, ensuring durability and reliability.

“The success of this sustainability project is a testament to the collaborative spirit and perseverance of Vanderlande’s engineering teams,” says Marco Pennings, Specialist R&D Engineer. “It required a collective effort to overcome the obstacles, refine the processes and create a product that aligns with the company’s commitment to environmental stewardship.”