Plant content in plant bottle hits 100%
Volume 9, Issue 3
In This Issue:
Plant content in plant bottle hits 100%
The Coca-Cola Co., Atlanta, GA, unveiled the world’s first polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle made entirely from plant materials in May 2015 at the World Expo - Milan
RPET Production Expands
Adding a proprietary wash line brings clean flake production in-house at Phoenix Technologies International, Bowling Green, OH
Also Featured In This Issue:
Plant content in plant bottle hits 100%
Patented technology converts natural sugars found in plants into the ingredients for making PET. Previous PlantBottle containers consisted of up to 30% plant-based materials. Both the 30% and 100% plant-based packaging look, function and recycle like traditional PET packaging but with a lighter environmental footprint.
Today, the company uses sugarcane and waste from the sugarcane manufacturing process to create PlantBottle packaging.
Since commercializing the technology in 2009, Coca-Cola has distributed more than 35 billion of the 30% plant-based containers in nearly 40 countries. It is estimated the use of PlantBottle packaging since launch has helped save more than 315,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide in equivalent annual emissions.
RPET Production Expands
Adding a proprietary wash line brings clean flake production in-house at Phoenix Technologies International, Bowling Green, OH. Expected to be operational by the end of 2015, the $18 million investment expands recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) production.
Up until now, Phoenix has purchased clean flake directly or sourced baled bottles, which have been reclaimed from curbside collection, and then tolled through a third-party wash operation to create clean flake.
Phoenix has been preparing for the upstream integration for two years. With stronger and more diverse supplier relationships, Phoenix will be able to source enough bales and dirty flake to feed a wash line with projected output of 50 million pounds of clean flake per year.
“Combining the total supply chain, from bale to final pellet, and its processes, will allow us to optimize both the wash and flake processing components in ways that we could not when clean flake was coming from external sources,” explains Bob Deardurff, president, Phoenix. “The new wash line also will enable Phoenix to fine-tune critical manufacturing variables so that we can better deliver processing and performance attributes of value to our customers.” Another benefit is that the company will be better able to manage its own environmental footprint—specifically water used in the process and fuel for transportation.
The new line will be housed in a leased 66,000-square-foot facility located near Phoenix’s existing 90,000-square-foot manufacturing plant. When the operation is in full production, the facility is expected to employ approximately 30 associates. This is in addition to the 53 employees at the main plant.
Using patented technology, Phoenix pelletizes and crystallizes recycled, post-consumer PET for reuse in consumer packaging applications. State-of-the-art processes and quality assurance standards have enabled the company to develop rPET that can be blended with virgin resin for similar performance at usage levels up to 100%. Additionally, manufacturing Phoenix’s rPET consumes less energy per pound than virgin PET. This further contributes to a decrease in the environmental footprint. For more information, visit www.phoenixtechnologies.net.
Method Adopts 100% RPET Bottle
A custom bottle made of 100% post-consumer-recycled (PCR) polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) launches 4X Concentrated Laundry Detergent from Method Products, San Francisco, CA, a supplier of eco-friendly household, fabric and personal-care products. Amcor Rigid Plastics, Ann Arbor, MI, supplies the 53-ounce rPET container.
The sleek, transparent bottle delivers strong shelf impact and ranks as the industry’s first liquid laundry detergent bottle made of 100% PCR PET.
Well-known for its brightly colored hand wash and all-purpose cleaning formulations showcased in clear PET bottles, Method has broken new ground in the liquid laundry detergent aisle, according to Joe Hunter, director of packaging for Method. “This new PET offering in the liquid laundry segment resonates with the rest of our brand portfolio in hand wash and all-purpose cleaners,” says Hunter. “This is an important achievement in a market that has previously been predominately limited to opaque high-density polyethylene (HDPE) containers.”
The new 4X Concentrated liquid detergent complements Method’s existing portfolio of ultra-concentrated 8X Laundry Detergent, which is packaged in 10-, 20-, and 30-ounce HDPE containers.
Up until now, PET has struggled to enter the liquid laundry detergent market due to compatibility and color stability issues. Amcor provided product compatibility testing to ensure package stability on the store shelf.
Amcor’s design engineering team worked closely with Method’s industrial design team to create a bottle with Method’s unique look, which could be stretch-blowmolded without a handle. The mold design created challenges due to the cross corner parting line split and the highly functional ergonomic hand grips molded on the back of the bottle. However, a variable radius parting line allows the part to release from the blowmold with no plastic entrapment.
The neck design also presented challenges due to the two-piece polypropylene (PP) pour spout and cup closure. The pour spout requires orientation to the front of the bottle and cannot rotate with removal of the pour cup. This was complicated because the PP closure was designed for an HDPE bottle. The lug design on the neck went through a series of design trials to find the best option. In addition, a small adjustment was made to the bottle’s shoulder height to accommodate the filling process.
The 100% rPET container delivers major sustainability benefits. “Among our primary business priorities is reducing the environmental impact of all our products,” explains Hunter. Analysis using Amcor’s ASSET™ life-cycle assessment tool showed that by using 100% PCR resin, the package’s life-cycle energy consumption is reduced 78% and its carbon footprint is lowered 35% versus a virgin PET container.
Method’s 4X Concentrated Laundry Detergent is available at Target stores and on methodhome.com in four fragrances: Beach Sage, Fresh Clover, Spring Garden and Ginger Mango, plus a fragrance- and dye-free option. For more information, visit www.methodhome.com, www.amcor.com/businesses/rigid_plastics/.
Compatibilizers Could Boost Recycling
Greater use of additives known as compatibilizers could solve the problem of low bale yields and enable recycling of currently unrecyclable materials like multilayer flexible packaging, according to a report by The Recycling Committee of SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association, Washington, DC.
Compatibilizer additives make disparate, traditionally incompatible post-consumer-recycled plastics compatible. The paper, Compatibilizers: Creating New Opportunity for Mixed Plastics, aims to increase awareness about the potential for compatibilizers and provide information about available materials.
“Compatibilizers, long used by the prime industry, offer the potential to create new mechanical recycling solutions for post-industrial and post-consumer scrap plastics,” reports SPI President and CEO William Carteaux. “This project demonstrates the innovation that can happen in recycling when you engage all segments of the supply chain. This is a real world solution being offered, one which is currently being used today by a number of our members to recover mixed resin streams that would otherwise be landfilled.”
The report suggests compatibilizers could reverse yield loss from contamination. “Recent findings suggest HDPE recyclers are suffering a 20% yield loss, while their PET recycling counterparts are experiencing upward of 40% yield loss,” the report says. “This rate of material loss can quickly change the economics of an operation from black to red. If that yield loss could be put to use as another valuable feed stream, it can dramatically change the economics of an operation, as well as further divert valuable plastics from the landfill.” For more information, visit www.plasticsindustry.org/Recycling/Content.cfm?ItemNumber=12140.
As You Sow Pushes For Elimination Of Non-Recyclable Packaging
As You Sow, Oakland, CA, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting sustainability, wants to eliminate non-recyclable packaging. It’s working through shareholders of consumer packaged goods companies and retailers to achieve this goal.
A recent proposal submitted to shareholders of Kraft Foods Group, Northfield, IL, soon to become The Kraft Heinz Co., asked the company to assess the environmental and operational risks associated with continuing to use non-recyclable packaging and to develop a timeline for phasing it out. The proposal didn’t pass, but As You Sow reports, it receive support from nearly 30% of the shares voted at Kraft’s annual meeting.
As You Sow singles out Kraft’s Capri Sun juice as an example, claiming the amount of waste pouches generated annually by the brand, would circle the globe nearly five times. “It’s a tremendous waste to be using non-recyclable packaging when recyclable alternatives are readily available,” says Conrad MacKerron, senior vice president of As You Sow.
The iconic Capri Sun standup pouch consists of a foil/plastic laminate that is rarely collected for post-consumer recovery, but weighs less than alternatives such as glass or plastic bottles, paperboard cartons or aluminum cans. In addition, some Capri Sun pouches have been upcycled for years by TerraCycle, Trenton, NJ, an organization that collects and repurposes billions of pieces of waste annually, creating millions of dollars of donations for schools and charities in the process.
The Capri Sun pouch also is a target of the Make It, Take It campaign, a project by UPstream, Athens, GA, a national environmental organization.
As You Sow has filed similar proposals at shareholder meetings of Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, OH; Mondelēz International, Northfield, IL, and Kroger Co., Cincinnati, OH. For more information, visit www.asyousow.org.
Terracycle Publishes Zero-Waste Guide
TerraCycle, Trenton, NJ, a pioneering upcycler and recycler, publishes Make Garbage Great, The TerraCycle Family Guide to a Zero-Waste Lifestyle. Chapters on plastics, glass and ceramics, paper, wood, textiles, metal, rubber and organics include information on recycling, reusing, composting and upcycling.
Pages feature more than 200 photographs and illustrations as well as waste-reduction tips and do-it-yourself upcycling projects. Available at www.barnesandnobel.com, the book retails for $17.50.
Aluminum Aerosol Loses Weight
The 150- and 200-milliliter aluminum aerosol cans for Fa personal-care products from the beauty care business of Henkel AG, Düsseldorf, Germany, now weigh 4% less than the lightweighted can introduced in 2014 and 15% lighter than the standard aluminum aerosol can.
Both generations of lightweighted containers are based on technology from Ball Corp., Broomfield, CO, and contain approximately 25% recycled content. Ball’s ReAl technology uses recycled aluminum to create a metal alloy that exhibits increased strength and allows weight reduction without affecting package integrity. Despite the increased alloy strength, Ball successfully developed a container with a deep shape to produce a can with a distinctive shelf presence.
“ReAl…material…is stronger, formable and compatible with Ball’s existing aerosol can lines,” reports Dan Rabbitt, vice president, Ball Aerocan. “For companies like Henkel, who continually drive for more sustainable packaging, this means that they can achieve their goals without sacrificing design or shelf presence.”
Ball estimates the lighter can cuts product carbon footprint 12%, equivalent to eliminating greenhouse gases emissions from a vehicle driving around the earth more than 1,000 times. For more information, visit www.ball.com.