HIPS Cups_In seek of sustainable solutions

As Sri Lankan environmental experts, governmental institutions, and environmental activist says, over 30million HIPS yoghurt cups are being sold each month in this island. That is 1 million yoghurts per day; while total population of Sri Lanka is about 20 million. So we are in a situation of 01 of each 20 persons of Sri Lanka buying a yoghurt each day, and further elaborations are not need to convince how big this dairy industry is.

Protector of this 80g of yoghurt at 4 Celsius in cool dry place for 30 days is the HIPS based yoghurt cup, which is about 3.5 grams in net weight and probably the most convenient dairy packaging solution in the modern day.

As the fight against plastic pollution intensifies around the world, industries of HIPS based manufacturing are forced to find out an alternative solutions which are convenient, and ecofriendly as same as HIPS cups. These efforts are often legitimately sustainable and suggest a viable path toward a zero “single use plastic food packaging cup waste” in future, such as compostable plastic sheets and bags that replace HDPE. Sometimes, however, what seems groundbreaking sustainable at first glance is not so greener upon closer inspection.

Over the years, many visionaries has often written about plastic reduction or supposedly green alternatives. what they says’, actually be dead-ends in mass scale applications. The list of alternatives for HIPS Cups as these environmental gurus says are listed below,

  1. Stainless steel
  2. Glass
  3. Platinum silicone
  4. Beeswax-coated cloth
  5. Natural fiber cloth
  6. Wood
  7. Bamboo
  8. Pottery and Other Ceramics
  9. Paper; Cardboard

No doubt and seems funny some of the alternatives as such cardboard, paper, bamboo, and wood which are not convent whatsoever in the mass scale manufacturing of dairy, and definitely do much more damage to the environment by over exploitation of natural resources, energy consumption, and GHG emission. Do not forget these items need at least 15gsm polyethylene coating for their inner surface to store yoghurt products for 30 days period without a fear of perishing though maintain 100% free of cross contamination, 4 Celsius , and cool dry place.

Platinum silicone, Beeswax-coated cloth, Natural fiber cloth are out of discussion even in Sri Lankan context, due to the practical difficulties of acquiring enough material to cater this gigantic market.

What about Stainless steel, Glass, and Pottery and Other Ceramics? Yes what about it? Think if you have to purchase a yoghurt made with stainless-steel container? Few of long listed questions are how you going to seal it? What would be the weight? Is it convenient? How much space for the factory? How much GHG will emit per cup and energy consumption? Material acquiring? How to recover materials? What would be the price? and more to think by readers.

Glass? How to acquire resources? Same as stainless steel glass industry needs about 5x energy for manufacture containers. Above mentions are again repeated for the glass.

Pottery and ceramics? Well yes to cater a market of village! Not for a country. Repeat above questions again and again and think the convenience. Do not forget yoghurt is a highly perishable nutritious product need total consideration of microbes contaminating through packaging container.

Truly in current scenario, not only Sri Lanka but also the globe doesn’t have a convenient alternative for the HIPS food containers to cater the market demands.


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