KHS develops PET containers

KHS has developed wide-neck PET containers for the hot filling of food. According to the German filling and packaging systems supplier, the containers are both light in weight and feature “good recycling properties”, reducing the packaging’s carbon footprint.

“Saving carbon dioxide is an important issue for food companies, both regarding the design of the packaging and the way their supply chains are organised,” said Sebastian Wenderdel, non-beverage global product account manager at KHS Corpoplast.

The packaging can be produced on KHS’s InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow moulder or from preforms with a moulded neck, which can be crystalline as required. “By heating the blow moulds electrically we can thermally condition the containers for standard market filling temperatures,” Wenderdel explained. The PET packaging has been designed to withstand both the positive and negative pressures that can occur in the closed container following the filling process.

“PET is a good insulator,” added Wenderdel. “The filling temperatures needed to obtain the necessary number of pasteurisation units are thus lower than those for glass.” KHS further stated that these benefits help beverage bottlers to cut their carbon emissions by up to 90 per cent – especially if they use containers with a high recyclate content.

For products that are extremely sensitive to oxygen, the new wide-neck containers can be given KHS’s FreshSafe PET coating. A thin layer of glass is applied to the inside of the bottle, protecting the product within.

Meanwhile, KHS has also developed, as part of its new Beyond Juice initiative, a fully recyclable juice bottle made of 100 per cent recyclate that features the company’s FreshSafe PET barrier system.

“In view of the current debate on plastics practical, environmentally-friendly systems are becoming more and more important,” said Philipp Langhammer, product manager for barrier technology at KHS Corpoplast.

The Beyond Juice bottle has been given a Made for Recycling seal by environmental service provider Interseroh. It is the first PET bottle to score a full 20 out of 20 points. “Thanks to the seal on the label, for the first time consumers can now allow the bottle’s truly excellent recycling properties to help influence their decision to buy when standing in front of the supermarket shelf,” explained Julian Thielen, a packaging engineer at Interseroh.

Thielen added that Interseroh was “only able to give top marks when analysing the bottle’s recyclability because KHS SiO x barrier technology was used. Alternative composite materials utilised as a barrier also often colour the recyclate and yield an inferior quality.”

The label area on the Beyond Juice container has been kept small so that sorting systems recognise it as a PET bottle. This ensures that the container can be reintroduced to the recycling loop and is not simply used to make energy. KHS has also chosen an adhesive to enable the label to be separated from the plastic in the recycling process.

The new KHS bottle has been developed as a film-free pack, again for recycling purposes. Dots of adhesive that are secure and yet easy to remove hold the bottles together. “By doing away with the secondary film around the pack we’re helping to further reduce this type of packaging waste by up to 90 per cent,” Langhammer added.