Packager thinks in the box over mineral water challenges

By Neil Merrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Water

Amidst some criticisms of bottled mineral water, bag-in-box packaging could be a vital development in offsetting consumer concerns about health and the environment, says one material supplier.

Rapak, which provides bag-in-box packs for food and drinks makers, claims that ongoing developments to the materials it uses in storing mineral waters can provide sustainable alternatives to rigid packaging containing the material bisphenol A (BPA).

Amidst ongoing studies and debate over the safety of using BPA in bottles, the packager says that although the case against the material is far from proven, its ‘taint-free’ system for water may help offset some consumer fears regarding the product.

Environment challenge

A spokesperson for Rapak told BeverageDaily.com that despite additional criticism from some governments and organisations’ over packaging tap-available resources like water, interest in such products will remain resilient on a global perspective.

Stephanie Humez claimed that the company had seen large growth over the decade for bag-in-box water solutions, which she said provide a number of sustainable and functional benefits to store mineral water.

“Bag-in-box generates up to five times less waste than rigid containers, thanks to the fact that empty packs collapse fully to reduce space during disposal and the cardboard outer is fully recyclable,”​ stated Humez.

The spokesperson added that beyond criticisms over packing water in countries like the UK, major markets like France continued to post large sales of mineral water, driven by demand for beverages sold as healthier alternative products.

Rapak added that it was continuing to look at developing bag-in-box materials to offer to food and beverage companies for use across the retail and service industry, with water an increasingly important area.

‘Low taint films’

The company says it can work with water bottlers to provide a range of low taint films to be stored in boxes depending on the specific mineral content of certain sources.

Humez said that French water, which is generally more subtle in taste, might be more reliant on the use of its Taint Free materials than others sources that may suit more standard bags.

Rapak claims that the films can reduce reactions between polymers in the packaging and water, which some consumers complain may affect product taste.

“The bag-in-box format, where the bag collapses as the liquid is dispensed, prevents air getting into the product and helps to maintain the quality of the water once the pack is opened,”​ the company stated. Bacterial growth that can sometime occur as a result of contact with the air can therefore be reduced in the water, according to the manufacturer.

Euro-focus

Rapak says that in continuing to push its bag-in-box solutions for use with waters, the group is targeting specific markets such as Northern European, where it says such products are already widely available in five and ten litre sizes.

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