Material reduction, Sustainability, Circular Economy, Reduce

Lightweight goes large

27/09/2021 | 3 min read
Phillip Maurer

IML bucket with reduced weight

In large families, or at events or parties, sometimes there can never be enough of a certain dish, whether it be yogurt or potato salad. So it is convenient when these products can be bought in large, 1-liter buckets. Greiner Packaging has many years of experience producing plastic buckets with lids and handles that can be used for a whole host of different foods and dishes.

And the plastics experts are pursuing a range of approaches to make their packaging solutions as sustainable as possible. One key course of action is to reduce material usage while delivering the same or better recyclability, leading to savings in both weight and carbon emissions. These weight reduction efforts have now been successful with large plastic buckets, too.

  • Up to 28 percent less material used than in previous production processes
  • Smaller carbon footprint thanks to reduced material usage
  • Polypropylene (PP) – monomaterial solution for high level of recyclability
  • IML decoration ideal for branding and high-quality effects

Significant weight reduction

Working with one of its largest IML plants, Greiner Packaging has developed a lightweight solution for 1-liter IML buckets. The original weight of the packaging was decreased from 45 grams (bucket, handle, and lid) to 34 grams, reducing the plastic used by as much as 28 percent. And a handle-free design saves another 1.5 grams.

The weight reduction was achieved by making changes to the technical conditions in production and was the result of close collaboration with moldmakers, active product development efforts, and support from an international network of highly skilled technical professionals and project managers. The reduced material usage means that fewer resources and less energy are required without compromising the bucket’s functionality or its compatibility with filling lines or logistics processes.

Sustainable solution

The lighter weight means that the carbon footprint associated with transporting the buckets is greatly reduced. Another plus point is that the label and product are made of the same plastic thanks to the use of in-mold labeling technology, which involves applying a label that is firmly attached to the bucket during the manufacturing process. As a result, the bucket is a monomaterial solution that can be recycled as a single item. The impact on the environment can be significantly minimized using packaging such as this.

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Attractive design

The PP bucket also impresses in terms of design. Due to the in-mold labeling technology, the bucket has a high-quality look and is an eye-catcher at the point of sale. IML allows tailor-made visual branding to be added with the quality of a printed photograph, which can increase consumer awareness of the product. Plus, double-sided or interactive labels can be used to prompt additional interaction with the consumer. For example, including a QR code or digital watermarks makes it possible to run competitions, promotions, or similar consumer engagement campaigns. A variety of surface effects can also be added to enhance the product’s premium aesthetic.

Packaging facts:


Injection molding




1000 ml



Resealable snap-on lid
  • Technology: Injection molding
  • Material: PP

The lighter-weight buckets have been on the market since the third quarter of 2021. Thanks to these containers, consumers can continue to enjoy potato salad and similar products in a big way – and now with a clear conscience as far as sustainability is concerned.

Material savings

IML lightweight cup

Greiner Packaging reduces material usage for IML cups

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