KHS presents the first recyclable juice bottle made of 100% rPET
Dortmund systems provider, KHS is addressing the need for sustainable packaging with its new Beyond Juice concept: a fully recyclable juice bottle made of 100% recyclate. The bottle’s FreshSafe PET barrier system offers product and freshness protection.
“With Beyond Juice we’re providing concrete answers to the challenges of the beverage industry, taking the juice bottle as an example. Also 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 PET container was designed by the KHS experts from the holistic Bottles & Shapes consultancy program together with environmental service provider Interseroh from Cologne according to their latest design guidelines.
“When developing the bottle we thus strictly adhered to our credo of environmental protection, recyclability and maximum product protection,” said Langhammer.
Following a number of optimisations the Beyond Juice bottle was issued with the Made for Recycling seal by Interseroh – the first PET bottle to score a full 20 out of 20 points.
“Through 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,” said packaging engineer Julian Thielen from Interseroh.
“In the medium term, for packaging the criterion of recyclability will additionally become just as important as the aspects of product protection, convenience and attractiveness – also on an international scale.”
Unique product protection
The Beyond Juice bottle uses FreshSafe PET. “We were only able to give top marks when analysing the bottle’s recyclability because KHS SiOx barrier technology was used,” Thielen said. “Alternative composite materials utilised as a barrier often colour the recyclate and yield an inferior quality.”
A wafer-thin layer of glass applied to the inside of the bottle prevents oxygen from penetrating the bottle and CO2 from escaping from it. This ensures that sensitive, high-quality juices and spritzers, for instance, keep up to ten times longer than those filled into uncoated bottles.
Trouble-free recycling of the entire bottle
The label area on the Beyond Juice container has been kept small so that sorting systems recognise it as a PET bottle. This makes sure that the container can be reintroduced to the recycling loop and is not simply used to make energy. It was also important to select the right kind of adhesive so that the label can be separated from the plastic in the recycling process and there is no unintentional soiling during the washing process.
The new KHS bottle concept has also been developed as a film-free pack for recycling purposes. Dots of adhesive, Nature MultiPack from KHS, are strong and secure yet easy to remove, hold the bottles together as a six-pack, removing the need for secondary film. This adhesive is also easily removed during recycling.
“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%,” Langhammer said.
As the Beyond Juice bottle consists of 100% rPET, it significantly helps to reduce the carbon footprint left by packaging throughout its entire life cycle. New studies by recognized trade associations confirm that PET bottles made of 100% recyclate have a much lower carbon footprint than containers made of what is known as virgin PET.
Langhammer concludes that “at a production of 50 million bottles a year more than 1,500 metric tons of raw material in the form of new PET could be saved by our bottle.”