Pet Packaging for liquids : an everyday necessity> Plastic and Flexible Packaging > Focus sectors > Pet Packaging for liquids
We use PET bottles, trays and containers of all descriptions every day. Innovation, reduced environmental impact and consumer safety are major features of the plastic packaging produced by the companies that ELIPSO represents.
Within our organisation, PET packaging manufacturers for liquid foodstuffs have set up the PET FORUM France and the PET FORUM EUROPE.
The use of PET packaging has developed strongly over the last 15 years, particularly for beverages (bottles are 37% of total PET packaging) but also for groceries, fruit & vegetables and other key sectors like household cleaning, cosmetics and personal care.
WINE BOTTLES: ONE RECENT APPLICATION OF PET PACKAGING
To reduce environmental impact and cut transport costs, many wine producers are using PET wine bottles which, being lighter and stronger, help them to:
- considerably reduce energy consumed in transport and consequently carbon footprint.
- find new international outlets for French wines.
PET bottles are well suited to this form of distribution since they are easy to use and allow optimal packing capacity in transport for an environmental benefit.
PET wine bottles are highly impermeable to oxygen, carbon dioxide and sulphur dioxide for two years.
Multilayer PET optimises protection against AV rays and improves conservation. Their impermeability means that all types of wines can be packaged. Analytical and organoleptic blind tests on red wines have revealed no difference between different types of packaging.
PET wine bottles designed especially for wine are therefore totally suited to the wine trade, whether for short or longer keeping. Scandinavian and Asian markets, for example, have no cultural reluctance to using PET wine bottles.
Beaujolais Nouveau and PET bottles: a winning pair!
30% of the Japanese market was supplied with Beaujolais Nouveau in PET bottles (25% in 2010).
PET bottles are lighter and more easily recyclable so they reduce carbon footprint and greenhouse effects.
Source: Shuhan News, Tokyo business news desk
Another new item is the plastic screw-cap: a perfect match with PET bottles mean the market is growing.
UHT MILK: AN INNOVATIVE APPLICATION FOR PET
UHT PET milk bottles now in shops
New technologies give PET a 100% light barrier that guarantees total protection for light- sensitive products such as UHT milk. PET bottles also guarantee aseptic bottling.
An aluminium foil lid seal is no longer necessary as the seal between PET and the cap is perfect. PET bottles can be reclosed and stored horizontally in the fridge.
Did you know?
PET-bottled fresh milk has been on the shelves for several years.
PET bottles for fruit juices have won increasing market share recently
PET packaging for household liquids has been developed with the environment in mind for several years now. From 2005 to 2010, their carbon footprint went down by 35%.
The plastic packaging industry has anticipated the need for recyclability through its work on eco-design.
The industry has developed several environmental tools:
- Weight reduction at source- Recyclability of PET bottles
- Incorporating recycled material into foodstuff applications
- Greater concern for environmental impact by life-cycle analysis
- Bio-sourced PET
PET bottles are a benchmark for recycling
In France today, 1 PET bottle in 2 is recycled through selective collection. Eco-Emballages, ELIPSO and their partners are aiming for 2 out of 3 by encouraging consumers to sort selectively.
Launched in 1992 with the creation of Eco-Emballages, the French system has made it possible to organise the collection, sorting and re-use of plastic bottles. In 1993 ELIPSO (flexible plastic packaging producers) and PlasticsEurope (plastics producers) created Valorplast, a partner company of Eco-Emballages. For 19 years now, the plastics industry has worked to develop a recycling industry in France by helping every player in plastic bottle sorting and recovery.
Over the same period, the bottle recycling rate has continued to rise, reaching 51% in 2010. Even if this higher rate reflects all the efforts made, recycling can still be improved compared with the rates achieved in other European countries. ELIPSO is still working to reach the objective of 2 out of 3 recycled bottles.
The PET recycling industry in France
Since 1997, ELIPSO has been working with PET and HDPE household packaging recycling companies, which are active members of ELIPSO. They have developed technologies and know-how and invested in the development of long-term recycling capability. This has been supported by the recycling industry, working within the French household packaging management system, and by the plastics industry and Valorplast. Over the period the industry has developed by bringing in new players.
ELIPSO, Eco-Emballages and Valorplast created the COTREP, the technical committee for plastic package recycling, in 2001 in order to factor in recycling requirements.
COTREP'S GOALS: to equate innovation with the recyclability of packaging while working for its introduction into the French system of collection, sorting and recycling. In 10 years' existence, 88 technical notices for PET packaging have been published by COTREP. These notices constitute a database that is freely consultable plastic packaging firms.
Find out more: www.cotrep.fr
In 2010, ELIPSO, Eco-Emballages and Valorplast commissioned RDC Environnement to carry out a life-cycle analysis of PET bottles under the ISO 14040 standard.
Environmental impact breakdown of a 1.5 litre PET bottle
Raw material production and transport, Bottle manufacturing, Batching and transport packaging, Distribution, Bottle life-end, Batching and transport packaging life-end
Greenhouse effect, Acidification, Eutrophication, Energy, Water
The graph shows that the raw material production stage (in blue) has the greatest impact on the environment. To counter this, materials with reduced impact should be preferred and weight reduced through eco-design.
The life-end of bottles (in green) is the second stage with most impact on the environment. Recyclable packaging and an increase in recycling rates are probably the best sources of higher performance.
Manufacturing (in orange) is the third stage with most impact, so optimising manufacturing processes for bottles, caps and labels is major focus.
Plastics producers and plastic packaging manufacturers have worked to reduce environmental impacts even further. From 2005 to 2010 the carbon footprint of plastic packaging was cut by 35%.