CZECH REPUBLIC - Specialist plastics packaging technology business Petainer has developed what it says is its ‘greenest ever’ refillable bottle – manufactured using more than 25% post-consumer ‘one-way’ recycled PET (rPET), but with the same performance characteristics as a refillable bottle made entirely from virgin material.
The ‘greener’ bottle’s performance is identical to the performance of conventional refillable bottles. It gives the same number of ‘round trips’, has the same top-load strength which allows it to be stacked in the same way as other refillable bottles, and provides the same level of retention of CO2 in carbonated soft drinks.
The technology can be applied both to bottles manufactured in Petainer’s own plants in Sweden and the Czech Republic and also to bottles blown from Petainer-supplied preforms.
“This is a very exciting development. Refillable bottles are already the beverage packing system with one of the lowest environmental footprints. This massive advance in the use of recycled material makes refillable bottles even more ‘eco-nomic’,” said Nigel Pritchard, group chief executive of Petainer, noting that a company using one-way bottles can spend around four to five times as much on packaging as a company that bottles the same quantity of beverage in refillable bottles, which it needs to replace only once in every 20 trips.
According to Pritchard, Petainer’s new product is eco-friendly as it uses up to 90% less virgin material per filling. This performance is improved even further by the introduction of post-consumer recyclate which means that the bottles now require less energy and other resources to manufacture.
“They are also economic in the traditional sense because the environmental benefits translate into lower costs,” he added. “As the cost of PET resins inexorably increases, the economics of refillable bottles using recycled material become even more compelling.”
Petainer is now working with bottled water companies, carbonated drinks producers and brewers across Europe to put its new ‘greener’ refillable bottles into use.
Pritchard said, “This bottle-to-bottle recycling, added to the existing environmental and economic benefits of refillable bottles, makes a strong case for fillers and brewers to consider switching to refillable bottles. We are already seeing a number of customers and countries considering the introduction of refillables.”