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Dispatches from Emballage 2012

SIPA presses ahead with greener packaging

By Rod Addy , 20-Nov-2012
Last updated on 20-Nov-2012 at 12:53 GMT

SIPA's 100% PET water cooler bottle
SIPA's 100% PET water cooler bottle

Plastics firm SIPA is making headway with greener packaging initiatives such as lightweighting and increased recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) content, according to the company’s packaging innovation director Laurent Sigler.

Speaking to FoodProductionDaily.com at packaging trade show Emballage at the Paris Villepinte exhibition centre, Sigler said SIPA was working on two lightweighting projects in particular.

“There are three main areas where you can lightweight: the neck, the bottle body and then the bottle base.

“The last few years a lot of work has been done in trying to lightweight in the body and base area, but SIPA believes there’s a lot of opportunity in the neck area, especially with injection technology.”

Lightweight neck

The Italian company had recently launched a hot fill bottle with a lightweight 28mm SIPA neck. The 3.8g innovation had so far been taken up commercially for one application in the Philippines, said Sigler.

“We have also launched a development together with SACMI, a 26mm, 2.0g super neck finish for water, carbonated soft drinks (CSD) and aseptic [applications], compared to 3.8g for current CSD. This neck development is meant to be pretty versatile in its use.”

He said SIPA expected the project to be fully ready for commercialisation within three to four months.

rPET flakes

The company was also working collaboratively on several projects to increase the amount of rPET flakes in plastic bottles, while harmonising them with the virgin (non-recycled) PET content.

The push towards using increased amounts of rPET was coming more from legislation than from customers, he added.

Technological progress should have made it possible to process bottles made of up to 50% rPET within two years, said Sigler. The challenge lay more on the side of the market securing sufficient rPET supplies, he continued.

Producing enough 50% rPET bottles required a dedicated stream of rPET flakes, he explained. However, political opinion was in favour of standard recycling, which by contrast produced polycarbonate resin.

SIPA recently hit the headlines with the launch of 10% PET 5 gallon water cooler bottles that ditch Bisphenol A content and are fully recyclable,including their handles.

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