The owners of Ice River Springs (IRS) have been relying on Krones for the considerable experience in processing recycled polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastic and the high efficiency of their lines. Almost all of the blow moulders in their seven bottling plants belong to the Krones Contiform series. The co-packer has also increased its use of filling technology from the Neutraubling-headquartered system supplier.
Since 2013, every new line installed at Ice River Springs (IRS) has been from Krones, and most are in a block configuration. One of the latest additions to the bottler’s machinery fleet is a high-speed line with two ErgoBloc L systems at its Lachute, Quebec, plant. Crystal Howe, sustainability manager at IRS and Blue Mountain Plastics, made sustainability a top priority, and is shared across the entire company. She explained: “Our philosophy is based on the three Ps – people, planet, and profit. PET and plastics in general have been gaining a lot of negative attention lately worldwide. But IRS is already ahead of the game. By completely reusing PET plastic in a closed loop, we’re being part of the solution.”
In 2009, IRS received a permission to use 100% recycled PET plastic in its water bottles. Howe elaborated: “We were the first bottler in North America to produce food-grade recycled PET, and use it to manufacture 100% recycled content bottles. We’re still the only one to maintain a closed loop today.
“We’ve done it to protect the environment. What’s special about our company is that we don’t base our decisions primarily on cost but rather on sustainability.”