A Lancashire-based animal nutritional products manufacturer has won the 2023 Innovation Award from the dairy industry CREAM awards.

G Shepherd Animal Health took home the innovation award for its system of reusing packaging for dairy hygiene materials and ensuring streamlined and timely delivery of supplies.

The total plastic use for dairy chemicals on UK dairy farms is estimated to be 2,277t/year, the company said, and its study shows just one re-use cycle saves more than 99% of the C02.

“We have estimated that by using more concentrated chemicals and reusing containers the plastic use for a 200-cow herd can be reduced by 395kg a year,” Shepherd said.

“On a national scale for 1.1million cows this equates to a reduction of 2,173t of plastic a year.

“This would be a significant and important contribution to reducing the carbon footprint in the UK dairy industry.”

Vet Graham Shepherd, who founded the company in 2008, has been described as being instrumental in developing the system for reusing barrel-type containers, for producing more concentrated dairy chemical and hygiene products and for more streamlined delivery on to dairy farms.

Named Plasti-Save, Shepherd said the system can “achieve significant savings” and that the company is aiming for 20 reuses from each plastic barrel – delivering more concentrated products and reducing the transport of these materials.


The re-use of containers for the company’s teat disinfectants, that promote cow udder hygiene, started in August 2021, followed by its concentrated BactoBAN dairy cleaning chemicals in September 2022.

Shepherd has piloted the scheme and carried out a study with the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) to ensure its effectiveness in the re-use of packaging materials, and has shown a reduction in carbon use of 99% from reusing the packaging.

“And at the end of its lifespan, the packaging material can be recycled,” he said.

“We’ve also estimated that our concentrated plant cleaning chemicals can save 33% on package requirements and delivery mileage, which both contribute to a reduced carbon footprint inhte supply chain.”

The company will add a remote level sensing technique for monitoring its chemical and hygiene product use on farm, it said.

This combines a sensor fitted to the rim of each container linked to a SIM card and app. which allows the company to monitor levels from its offices and arrange the delivery of supplies more effectively.

“We can manage supplies and streamline our transport, and also ensure farmers have materials as required, helping to safeguard animal health and milk hygiene,” Shepherd said.

G Shepherd Animal Health quoted the benefits of the Plasti-Save system as:

  • Improved animal health and food quality (udder health, milk hygiene);
  • Nearly two tonnes less plastic per 1,000cows a year (equivalent to 8t of CO2;
  • Approximately 33% less product volume required which reduces transport miles by 33%;
  • More transport efficiency with improved delivery routes;
  • Improved farm cleanliness from less waste plastic.