Sustaining rigid packaging
Cans and bottles find more sustainable options while increasing consumer convenience.
Tea time for change
PepsiCo-Lipton has launched a tea drink in Central America with a bottle design exclusively for them by Amcor Rigid Plastics (amcor.com). The resulting bottle won the beverage/non-alcoholic category in the AmeriStar Package Awards Competition sponsored by the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP). The ultra-lightweight, 500ml, hot-fill polyethylene terephthalate (PET) container weighs only 22 grams and utilizes a 33mm finish that features a 50% reduction in material over a traditional 38mm finish. The leaf design of the body panels aids in the vacuum while offering visual appeal and an easy-to-grip surface. Additionally, the package’s reduced materials provide an ecological savings and reduced carbon footprint.
The new bottle also offers a breakthrough in hot-fill packaging. The new approach, according to Carlos Londono, design manager for Amcor Rigid Plastics, allows manufacturers to move to lightweight containers without making a large capital investment in aseptic filling lines. Achieving the lightweight properties which could withstand intense vacuum absorption was a big challenge. Amcor applied its vacuum absorbing base (VAB) technology to the base and ERGO technology to the body. The VAB base is a light weighted diaphragm-like structure that aids in the cooling process by helping to absorb vacuum.
“The structure of the bottle had to be designed to provide both function and aesthetics when absorbing the vacuum,” says Jeff Klok, senior industrial designer for Amcor Rigid Plastics. “Pushing the boundaries of conventional weights, we found that the light weight of the package was ultimately the biggest challenge.”
Cap it off
Two beverages recently made the move to Rexam’s (rexam.com) 24-ounce Cap Can with closure technology from Dayton Systems Group (DSG, daytonsystemsgroup.com). Noah’s Spring Water has become the first and only bottled water available in this innovative, resealable aluminum container. And Cock’n Bull Ginger Beer added the new container to its packaging line up to increase formats offered to their customers.
Noah’s chose the Rexam Cap Can because it is 100% recyclable and offers an alternative to plastic containers for the many municipalities, educational and corporate campuses that have banned plastic containers. The rsealable cap that makes it reusable, and the aluminum keeps the water cold longer.
“There are so many reasons why this Rexam package just makes sense for our unique spring water,” says Tony J. Varni, president of Varni Brothers Corporation, Noah’s parent company. “It provides a generous 24-ounce portion that is resealable so it can be taken on the go and reused. Refillable aluminum bottles can cost anywhere from $5 to $20, and they don’t come with anything inside of them. This Noah’s Spring Water retails for under $2, and it contains the best natural spring water available.”
Cock’n Bull chose to add the Cap Can to its packaging offerings because it offers benefits such as portability and durability. The shatterproof bottle is allowed in many places where glass is not. The resealable cap allows consumers to keep their beverage fresh longer.
“This 24-ounce size gives us a great opportunity to increase our business as it allows us to get into venues beyond the norm for a soft drink or mixer,” says Tony J. Varni, president of Varni Brothers Corporation. “The Cap Can’s convenience and resealability are being very well received. Through our partnership with Rexam, we are providing a new packaging option that retailers and consumers are already enthusiastic about.”
By Earth for Earth
Earth Renewable Technologies (earthrenewable.com) has launched the EarthBottle™, a plant-based packaging solution that is a responsible and sustainable alternative to petroleum-based plastics. EarthBottles are made from plant-based materials and do not contain toxic plasticizers or fossil fuels. The bottles can be recycled at facilities that accept #7 plastics. During the decomposition process of the biopolymer no chemcials or hazardous materials are leached into the water or land. The EarthBottle can be used for natural products, personal care products, pharmaceuticals and household goods, and they are comparable or superior to HDPE and PET in most key parameters.
“More than ever before, consumers are seeking products that reflect a comprehensive consciousness to the environment, which includes the vessel it’s packaged in,” says Owen Schultz, vice president of New Business Development. “Our product is a versatile plant and mineral based solution for brands looking to meet the demands of end-users with packaging options that respect our resources and protect our earth, at a cost that may be comparable to what they are using now. Our goal is to help companies eliminate petroleum-based plastics and offset damage done by traditional plastic packaging to help preserve our earth for generations to come.”