RUSSIA - Russian brewery Pivovarinny Zavod Samko will soon be selling beer in lightweight and recyclable plastic kegs that are easy to handle and help lower transport costs, without high switchover fees.
Developed by specialized packaging supplier Petainer of the Czech Republic, the lightweight polyethylene terephthalate (PET) beer kegs are easy to recycle and offer users low transport costs as a typical PET beer bottle only weighs around 15% as much as a typical glass beer bottle of the same volume.
In addition, by eliminating the return of used conventional metal kegs, there is no longer any costs of cleaning and putting them back into use. As the spear and fittings are for single-use, return and cleaning costs are also nonexistent.
The beer kegs can be supplied either as complete, ready-to-fill containers, or as preforms which are blown on or near the site where they are required. They are available in 15, 20, 30 and 40 liter sizes.
The lightweight kegs can also be supplied in an outer cardboard box casing designed to make the kegs easy to handle in transport and by users in bars, clubs and restaurants – replacing the cardboard cartons of standard Petainer Kegs.
Like the Petainer Kegs themselves, the casings are designed for one-way use and are fully recyclable. They can be printed to users’ specifications to create new opportunities for branding.
The variety of sizes and the associated range of fittings mean that there is a suitable keg for almost every beverage applications worldwide. Aside from beer, Petainer kegs are also suitable for a wide range of beverages including cider, wine, water, concentrates and low pressure carbonated soft drinks.
Russian brewery Samko, which produces about 300,000 hectolitres of beer a year, will be purchasing the kegs as preforms to blow and fill on a recently installed semi-automatic plastic keg line.
Samko owner and managing director Valentin Samko said, “We believe there are important cost and environmental benefits for us in filling and selling our beer in Petainer plastic kegs. These kegs also offer many benefits that our customers appreciate.”
The preform containers have been supplied to Samko, as part of an agreement between the brewery, Petainer and German equipment supplier KHS GmbH, which is providing the filling line including processing and other essential equipment.
Compatibility with existing systems
The 20 and 30 liter kegs are also available in a version that is specifically designed for use in existing filling lines for metal kegs.
Petainer chief executive Nigel Pritchard said, “The new keg variant offers brewers a lower overall cost opportunity to gain all the advantages of the Petainer Keg without needing to invest in new filling systems.
“It allows them to open up new channels and markets for their products and provides a step change in environmental performance. It will also reduce their costs and improve their cash flow. Once they have proven the concept and gained market penetration they can change to using the more competitive specialist filling systems,” he added.
The version adapted for existing filling lines offers brewers the opportunity to gain all the advantages of the Petainer Keg without needing to invest in new filling systems. These kegs are supplied in rigid polypropylene casings which facilitate use on existing filling lines.