US – Overcoming packaging material compatibility issues, eco-friendly household, fabric, and personal care products brand owner Method Products has become the first company to introduce a liquid laundry bottle made from 100% post-consumer recycled (PCR) PET resin.
Up until now, PET has struggled to enter the liquid laundry detergent market due to compatibility and color stability issues. With help from Amcor Rigid Plastics, Method has now been able to introduce its new 4X Concentrated Detergent product in a 53oz (about 1.5 litres) sleek and transparent PET custom bottle that delivers strong shelf appeal.
Initially, Amcor provided product compatibility testing with Method’s liquid formula product to ensure package stability on the store shelf. Amcor did initial testing on preforms and further stability testing revealed no issues, according to Matt Lewis, Senior Development Engineer for Amcor Rigid Plastics.
“Through our strong partnership with Method we have developed a long line of unique PET packages,” said Lewis. “We were able to again push the envelope and deliver an important advancement in bottle design, this time for the liquid laundry detergent market.”
Amcor’s design engineering team worked closely with Method’s industrial design team to create a bottle with Method’s unique look that could be stretch blow molded without a handle. The mold design created challenges due to the cross corner parting line split and the highly functional ergonomic hand grips molded on the back side of the bottle. This was overcome by a variable radius parting line that allowed the part to release from the blow mold with no plastic entrapment.
The neck design also presented challenges due to the two-piece polypropylene (PP) pour spout and cup closure. The pour spout required orientation to the front of the bottle and once in that location could not be rotated by the removal of the pour cup. This was complicated because the PP closure was designed for an HDPE bottle.
The lug design on the neck went through a series of design trials to find the best option. In addition, a small adjustment was made to the bottle’s shoulder height to accommodate the filling process.
Well-known for its brightly colored hand wash and all-purpose cleaning formulations showcased in clear PET bottles, Method has broken new ground in the liquid laundry detergent aisle, according to Joe Hunter, director of packaging for Method.
“This new PET offering in the liquid laundry segment resonates with the rest of our brand portfolio in hand wash and all-purpose cleaners,” said Hunter. “This is an important achievement in a market that has previously been predominately limited to opaque high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers.”
The 53oz container with 100% PCR PET enabled Method, which was founded in 2000 on a strong environmental platform, to gain major sustainability benefits.
“Among our primary business priorities is reducing the environmental impact of all our products,” explained Hunter.
Analysis using Amcor’s ASSETTM life cycle assessment tool showed that by using 100% PCR resin, the package’s life cycle energy consumption is reduced by 78% and its carbon footprint is lowered by 35% versus a virgin PET alternative.