AECI is the first in Africa to offer the eco-friendly, globally patented Mega-Inliner® supply chain system to the continent’s burgeoning food and beverage industry. A number of leading brands are already lining up, including The Coca-Cola Company.
Very simply, the Mega-Inliner® supply chain system includes a bag and a tank container. The bag which is placed in an empty tank container for filling with any non-hazardous liquids such as food and beverages as well as animal feeds and chemicals.
The high-barrier seven-layer film bag is 100% recyclable and also impermeable. This means that there is no cross-contamination, no oxidation and no saturation (or desaturation), thus ensuring the integrity and quality of the liquid being transported. Barely any liquid remains when the bag is emptied by means of compressed air, reducing unnecessary waste for improved manufacturing efficiency and value for money.
Measuring 118cm by 30cm and weighing up to 23kg, a Mega-Inliner® bag can be handled by one person. It takes approximately five minutes to put in a tank container and 15 minutes to take out.
The Mega-Inliner® tank container can be transported by rail, road and ship, cooling or heating systems can be fitted, and loads can be followed anywhere in the world through track and trace technology. While the capacity of each Mega-Inliner® tank container is 25 000ℓ, a two- in-one compartmentalised tank version is in development for smaller volumes of 10 300ℓ each. Since all the liquid goes in the bag, the tank container stays clean with no wear and tear. The need for cleaning chemicals, facilities and personnel
is removed. No cleaning also means there are significant water savings. Without Mega-Inliner®, approximately 2 000ℓ of water are used to clean a single tank container. It has been calculated that with the Mega-Inliner® supply chain system, up to five billion litres of water could be saved around the world every year! This is enough water for 300 000 people in Africa or 1,3% of Cape Town’s needs annually.
The Mega-Inliner® bag can only be used in a Mega-Inliner® tank container. However, all existing conventional tank containers that transport non-hazardous liquids can be modified with a few simple adjustments. Leaseback and sales solutions are available.
A Mega-Inliner® bag can be handled by one person. It takes approximately five minutes to put in the tank container and 15 minutes to take out.
This supply chain solution has received funding from an EU innovation and research programme and a number of accreditations and certifications are in progress including ISO 9001, ISO 22 000 and BRC. They will be finalised before 2023.
Coca-Cola has acknowledged that the Mega-Inliner® system “will reduce (their) carbon footprint”. Among the “huge positives” are:
- Fully recyclable
- No chemicals in the cleaning process
- No need for bulk storage (e.g. 200ℓ drums)
- Savings on drums, pallets and polyliners
According to Coca-Cola, the success of Mega-Inliner® lies in managing the system properly and reducing the number of empty return loads. “All this speaks to our 2030 and 2050 carbon footprint targets,” said Casper Kruger, Procurement Manager – Juice Africa, Coca-Cola Africa.
Roger Falck, Managing Executive: AECI Food & Beverage, said that Mega-Inliner® will help deliver AECI’s strategy and vision of shaping “a better world” through the global sustainability agenda.
Sidon van Laarhoven, CEO and Founder: Mega-Inliner®, highlighted the incredible opportunity for African food and beverage brands seeking to do business in Europe where the system is well-recognised for enabling an eco-friendly supply chain.
At the moment, there are three Mega-Inliner® tank containers with cooling and heating systems operating in South Africa. Another 20 are expected in a year.
A summary of the benefits is as follows:
- 100% recyclable
- Infinite life cycle for tank containers
- Reduces CO2 emissions
- Reduces packaging plastics for shipping by 95% when compared with cased goods
- Removes the use of cleaning chemicals and empty kilometres
- Avoids wasting 5 billion litres of drinking water annually
- Suitable for any non-hazardous liquid
- More litres per transport
- No loss of liquids
- Always clean environment
- Simple planning and transport
- Fewer transport movements mean fewer lost hours
- Considerably lower transport costs
- No investment in own fleet needed
- No depreciation or maintenance
- Packing in units at destination
- Limited downtime or delay connecting inbound and outbound flows
- Immediate end to hours of cleaning and no empty kilometres to cleaning stations