Packaging solutions manufacturer APPE’s ( ThermaLite® pasteurisable PET jar is being used for a range of Marks & Spencer pickles supplied by food manufacturer G’s.

The wide mouth jar was chosen because it offers the same crystal clarity as glass as well as delivering improved production line efficiencies and less environmental impact.

As G’s marketing director Anthony Gardiner explains: “The clear plastic pickle jar has helped create an interesting point of difference in the pickled grocery market place. Our consumer research shows that they understand the benefits of a plastic container over glass but expect the same clarity as glass, as they are seeking to clearly see the product. The APPE solution has allowed us to overcome this from a hot fill pickle perspective where historically we have struggled to find a jar of suitable clarity.”

ThermaLite® jars are manufactured using the unique double-blow technology developed by APPE and Nissei ASB which enables them to be hot-filled and/or pasteurised at temperatures up to 95°C. Their light weight – up to 85% lighter than glass equivalents – offers efficiencies during transportation and filling, as well as safety and convenience benefits, and they are fully recyclable.

The jars are also particularly unique because they can incorporate a metal closure to enable them to be used on existing glass filling lines.

APPE business development manager Nick Humphrey says: “There are considerable benefits for companies switching over to the Thermalite® jar as manufacturers do not have to change their filling lines, which helps them avoid any additional costs.”

He adds: “The container also has considerable aesthetic appeal and is a true alternative to glass, with the lightweighting benefits that switching to PET brings.”

As well as pickles, the containers can also be used for cooking sauces, pesto, tomato-based products, relishes, chutneys, fruit purées, jams and spreads.

The new jar received two Highly Commended certifications in the recent Starpack Awards, in the Food, and Environment & Sustainability categories, and has received the Horners Bottlemakers Award for 2013.