The company claims that it decided to extend the applications of its namesake barrier coating for 750ml PET bottles on the Canadian market due to the growing popularity of the product among wine makers in the country. A Plasmax spokesperson said that the new size application for the coating, which is in line with the European bottle-size requirements, was a response to customer demand for larger, lighter bottles in the region. Storing wine in PET bottles within markets like, Canada, the US and Australia currently remains a much more common practice than in European markets, according to the company. Nonetheless, the spokesperson said that with the packaging market moving increasingly towards lighter weight and convenience, there is clear potential for PET bottles and coatings such as Plasmax in the European market. "The market has to accept it first. But as we know from earlier development, it takes always a little longer in Europe than overseas," he added. "I am confident that Plasmax will [penetrate] western as well as Eastern Europe." Plasmax According to the manufacturer, the Plasmax coating has been developed in a bid to protect beverages and liquid foods stored within PET packaging from oxidisation and CO2 loss that can affect shelf life, taste and product appearance. This is done by applying a ultra-thin, clear, impermeable and non-reactive layer of silica (SiOx) to the inside of the bottle, the company says. Plasmax claims that the process has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Aside from its protective benefits, the group also says that the use of PET bottles ensures a shatterproof alternative, which also reduces the weight of the wine during distribution. Plasmax says that the use of an aluminium screw cap on the bottles allows for greater convenience for consumers. Size extension Ball Packaging has extended the use of the coating, which it has used on 187ml wine bottles since 2006, for 750ml containers of the Painted Turtle brand of Semillon/Chardonnay and Cabernet/Shiraz. The coating is applied on the Plasmax 12D technology, according to the manufacturer. European light-weighting Some members of the European wine industry are already focusing on adopting PET in their operations. Back in March, a number of major players in the UK wine industry announced their intentions to cooperate with packagers and other stakeholders to improve cooperation in supplying lightweight glass bottles to tackle environmental concerns over the product.