Our new PET jar will smash glass grip on 24oz sector: Amcor

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Better Bottle Amcor

Amcor Rigid Plastics claims that its new 24oz (680g) polyethylene terephthalate (PET) hot fill container will ‘unseat glass’ as the dominant material for food receptacles of this size.

The company is training its sights on glass in the pasta sauce, apple sauce, salsa, jam and jelly sphere, in addition to other food products filled at temperatures up to 205°F (around 96°C).

With a 63mm neck diameter, the jar weighs just 51g and mimics the appearance of glass. Amcor said its patented blow-trim technology also ensured the product had consistent finish dimensions, optimum closure and sealing integrity.

A panel-less design comprised four horizontal ‘ribs’, while its stiff walls resist the vacuum as the product cools, thus maintaining bottle shape, said Amcor principal engineer Ron McFarlane.

Dominant packaging material

Amcor predicted that its new product would “unseat glass as the dominant packaging material”​ in the 24oz (680g) segment, a bold claim that the company took pains to substantiate.

Yi Jiang, Amcor food market development manager told FoodProductionDaily.com: “These are the reasons why we believe PET will gain advantage over glass in the near future. Firstly, several major fruit sauce brands and private label brands are already converting to PET.

She added: “Also, our customers expressed interest in converting their pasta sauce [containers] to PET, given its light weight and freight-saving benefits. The jar brings savings to customers due to its light weight.”

Amcor anticipated that pasta sauce products will be the first hot-fill foods packaged in the new containers, with launches scheduled for later this year.

Conversion to PET would benefit both brand-owners and contract packers, Amcor said, since reduced weight versus glass meant lower transportation costs, and fewer breakages would lead to more efficient inline production and handling.

Hot fill potential

Genuinely new aspects of the product included hot fill potential up to 205°F, Jiang said, and while she added that a “lot of factors can impact shelf life”​, she explained that the typical range for the new jar was 18-24 months with an oxygen barrier.

“The round design improves product evacuation compared to alternative PET design and is label-friendly. Via a modular mold program, customers can also choose to customise the jar at a low cost,"​ said Jiang.

Other benefits claimed by Amcor for its new product include its ability to improve a brandowner’s environmental profile, due to its status as a lightweight recyclable jar, and consumer satisfaction.

Users, especially families with children, would benefit from “consumer-friendly benefits of PET including its lightweight nature, easy opening and much improved product evacuation”​¸ Amcor said.

An unbreakable design and transparency were other positive product features, the firm added.

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Glass vs plastic

Posted by steve Zingerman,

As a consumer I hate plastic due to its "cheapening of a product." Its like drinking beer out of some gaudy plastic bottle. Plastic also is not as reusable as glass. As far as freight rates go, the difference is null. Even if it does reduce charges, the savings will never be passed onto the consumer.Glass always adds a quality aspect to a product.People do have a low regard for plastic...that will never change.

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Amcor claims plastic is as good as glass: here are some reasons why it’s not

Posted by Michael Delle Selve,

Amcor’s claim in this article has to be challenged, we hope not only by the glass industry but by rational brand owners, their designers and, in particular, their sustainability advisers. When comparing to glass, it should be acknowledged that glass has the unique advantage of being virtually inert. This means, for example, that food packed in glass can be directly micro waved without fearing any interaction with the product. This speaks a lot in terms of health safety and convenience to consumers. Not an easy challenge for any other material to meet.

Then there is the environmental damage caused by plastics. How many kinds of plastics are really effectively recycled and do not finish in landfill? We really don't know. But we know the plastics ‘soup’ continues to accumulate in the oceans and causes lethal effects on marine and aqueous ecosystems. The transport distances needed to cover production, recovery or disposal of plastics materials are much bigger than most people would imagine. On the contrary, glass is locally produced and recycled in a bottle-to-bottle system effectively in place throughout Europe.

To increase shelf life, plastics need barriers which render plastic containers difficult to recycle. Even then the shelf life is limited compared with glass. So let’s have some balance when we compare glass with plastic. Making packaging lighter is a good thing - and glass has made major progress in this direction - but it should not be at the expense of health, environment or preference of consumers.

Also don’t be led into believing that plastic packaging is cheaper, supermarket shelves say the contrary in many cases.
Last but not least, plenty of independent research states that the large majority of consumers strongly prefer glass to other materials for their favourite products and claim the right to free choice on the supermarket shelves.

For those readers who want facts rather than hype or greenwash, there is plenty of independent information available. You would be wise to consider that before you take Amcor’s statements at face value.

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Hot Filled Foods Demand Glass Packaging

Posted by Lynn Bragg,

We read with great skepticism the recent claims by Amcor Rigid Plastics that their new polyethylene terephthalate (PET) hot fill container will “unseat glass” as the dominant material for hot fill packaging of food. Amcor has not explained how its claims overcome the consumer concerns outlined by Dr. Leonard Sax, MD, PhD, with The Montgomery Center for Research in Child & Adolescent Development, whose research indicates that at high temperature PET containers leach phthalates and antimony into the food they are containing, which is of special concern given temperatures reached during the hot fill process. In addition a study from Japan (April 2011) in “Shokuhin Eiseigaku Zasshi” (“Food Hygiene and Safety Science”), conducted by The Council for PET Packaging, stated, “from the viewpoint of safety and the preservation of content quality, PET bottles are not considered suitable for reuse when compared with glass bottles.”

We agree with the PET packaging group’s own study in that nothing approaches the purity and quality of glass. Consumers have felt safe with glass for years because glass has essentially a zero rate of chemical interaction, is virtually inert, and is one hundred percent recyclable back to its original use. Finally, glass does not need to find a way to “mimic the appearance of glass.” It is safe, pure and attractive to consumers, just as it has been for countless generations. For these reasons, we believe consumers will continue to choose quality and health and continue to ask for glass as their preferred choice in packaging.


Lynn M. Bragg
Glass Packaging Institute
700 N. Fairfax Street, Suite 510
Alexandria, VA 22314

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