There has been a significant push to develop technology to address this challenge, and some of the most interesting work is being done in the area of active barrier materials. We first reported on the introduction of a breakthrough oxygen-scavenging technology in the July 2005 issue of BRANDPACKAGING (archives at www.brandpackaging.com).
With growing demand for packaging that supports a greener, more energy efficient world in mind, ConAgra Foods recently converted its 46oz Hunt’s Ketchup package to a light-weighted PET bottle that makes use of Constar’s DiamondClear technology. The DiamondClear material is an active oxygen scavenger that is blended directly into PET in a monolayer structure.
This technology facilitates the light-weighting of a package because its high capacity for scavenging oxygen allows for thinner walls without loss of barrier, preserving the vibrant red color and flavor of the ketchup. At the same time, the thinner walls don’t come at the cost of de-lamination, which is especially critical in a squeezable ketchup bottle. Overall, the Hunt’s package was reduced in weight by nearly 12 percent. PET is among the easiest of plastics to recycle and reuse, and the package is also compatible with current recycling streams.