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Individual and ecological: KHS develops wide-neck PET containers for hot filling
PET alternative to non-returnable glass considerably reduces the carbon footprint/ Manufacture on the energy-efficient KHS InnoPET Blomax Series V possible/ Individual container systems with optimum product protection
“Saving carbon dioxide is an important issue for food companies, both regarding the design of the packaging and the way their supply chains are organized,” says Sebastian Wenderdel, non-beverage global product account manager at KHS Corpoplast in Hamburg, Germany. With its innovative systems the turnkey supplier from Dortmund assists its customers in this endeavor throughout the entire value chain. “It’s our aim to not only reduce our customers’ carbon footprint but also increase production reliability. Individually designed, lightweight containers also improve the consumer experience,” he reports.
Sustainable alternative to non-returnable glass: wide-neck PET containers from KHS
The best example of the above are the new, hot-fillable, wide-neck PET containers for food from the systems supplier – an unbreakable, resource-saving and highly customizable alternative to the traditional non-returnable glass container. This line-compatible type of packaging can be produced on the energy-efficient InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow molder in what is known as the blow-trim process or from preforms with a molded neck which can be crystalline as required. “By heating the blow molds electrically we can thermally condition the containers for standard market filling temperatures,” Wenderdel explains. The PET alternative has been designed to withstand both the positive and negative pressures which can occur in the closed container following the filling process.
Safe and ecologically favorable: PET containers have many benefits
KHS has consciously opted for PET plastic for its new wide-neck containers. “At the moment most wide-neck containers are still made of non-returnable glass. PET containers have many advantages over glass, however, and not just as far as costs are concerned,” Wenderdel tells us. The plastic packaging is primarily worth considering from an ecological standpoint alone. “PET preforms aren’t just much lighter than glass containers; they’re also smaller, which means that they take up less space during transportation and storage,” he smiles. Even when full the plastic container has a clear ecological advantage over glass en route to the consumer thanks to its low weight.
PET containers also have a higher energy efficiency than non-returnable glass receptacles. During both in-house manufacture and recycling they consume considerably less energy and thus ecologically harmful CO2. Wenderdel explains that “PET is a good insulator. The filling temperatures needed to obtain the necessary number of pasteurization units are thus lower than those for glass.” All of these benefits help beverage bottlers to cut their carbon emissions by up to 90% – especially if they use containers with a high recyclate content.
KHS enables customized container systems
Another advantage of PET containers is their great capacity for individual design. This aspect is particularly important when it comes to hot filling. “It’s not possible to implement a generic container system here as there are large variances from customer to customer in the process steps, i.e. in the preparation, filling and handling of containers,” says Christian Rommel, head of Packaging Design at KHS Corpoplast.
With its holistic Bottles & Shapes™ consultancy program KHS provides the perfect answer to this specific challenge. The German engineering company supports bottlers throughout the entire design process, at the end of which a customized container is produced which is perfectly tailored to the customer’s individual requirements and takes the specifications of the filling line into direct consideration.
For products which are extremely sensitive to oxygen the wide-neck container can be given a tried-and-tested FreshSafe PET® coating. Thanks to the thin layer of glass applied to the inside of the bottle, this barrier coating provides optimum product protection. This type of container combines all the advantages of light, fully recyclable plastic packaging with those of a gas-tight glass container.
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