Amcor Flexibles, ColaLife Saving Lives in Africa

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA | Amcor has shared its expertise with UK charity ColaLife to create a packaging solution that enables life-saving medicine to reach remote villages in Africa.

ColaLife co-founder Simon Berry says: “One in ten children die before their fifth birthday from simple preventable causes like dehydration from diarrhea.* Until now, relatively basic life-saving re-hydration medicines have not been readily available or affordable in Africa’s remotest villages.”

Commenting on the partnership, Berry says, “Amcor has been a valued partner whose innovation credentials and specialist packaging knowledge are helping to improve health in the developing world. It is very reassuring to have such expertise behind us.”

The new Kit Yamoyo Flexi-pack (or "Kit of Life" in many African languages) not only provides essential medicine, but also doubles as a clean measuring vessel for the water.

The team at ColaLife recognized that consumer goods were reaching these remote villages but basic medicines were not. To tap into the existing consumer goods supply chain required a package solution that was simple to use, affordable, and robust enough to endure transportation.

Keith Gater of Amcor Flexibles’ Home & Personal Care Sales Team says, “The new pack had to be low cost and manually fillable, while being able to survive extreme environments and unconventional supply chains, retaining the hygiene of the product. For the consumer, the pack had to be intuitive, easy to open, and operate as a measuring device.”

Simon adds, “Importantly the medicine will be affordable to those communities who need it, retailing at less than $1.00 US per pack with no subsidy. This ensures that the medicine will continue to be available to communities into the future, making the Kit Yamoyo a sustainable solution.”

Amcor lead product developer Peter Ettridge, who proposed to use Amcor Flexibles’ PushPop technology to make the Kit Yamoyo Flexi-pack, says, “Packaging plays a crucial role in tackling global challenges such as ensuring access to safe, effective health care. At Amcor we invest millions into research and development to find new packaging solutions that deliver positive social and environmental outcomes. It is fantastic that we have been able to share this knowledge with ColaLife to create Kit Yamoyo Flexi-pack.”

The Flexi-pack has earned recognition from senior packaging experts from many of the biggest household names in the UK retail and brand landscape. This September the ColaLife Flexi-pack was shortlisted for the UK Packaging Awards 2015 Resource Efficient Pack of the Year.

To help keep production costs down while the product is being established, Amcor Flexibles manufacturing sites in Ledbury, UK, and Palmela, Portugal, donated more than 870,000 Kit Yamoyo Flexi-packs to ColaLife. Since then the Zambian government ordered 452,000 Kit Yamoyo Flexi-packs that are currently being distributed to rural communities through their public health system.

ABOUT THE FLEXI-PACK

The new Kit Yamoyo Flexi-pack is a consumer-valued design, which supports ColaLife's aim to have a sustainable, profit driven, private sector distribution network so that parents have access to the medicines their children need at prices they can afford at their local shop.

Amcor developed the solution to safely collate the Oral Rehydration Salts, Zinc tablets, and soap, in a package that doubles as a clean measuring vessel for the water.

The kit uses Amcor Flexibles’ PushPop technology typically used to package food. The pack is light, extremely durable and flexible, keeping the medicine safe while tough and nimble enough to reach the remotest of families in Africa.

This new design has also reduced the cost of the package by around 80%, which means three times more products can be shipped in a box compared to the original rigid packaging design – reaching more families in need.

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