The new returnable PET container is designed to offer an optimal environment for sensitive ESL (extended shelf life) products such as juice and milk in the cold chain
Austrian plastic packaging manufacturer Alpla Group and German packaging and bottling machine manufacturer Krones have developed a new returnable PET container for chilled juices and dairy products.
The new returnable PET container has been designed to offer an optimal environment for sensitive ESL (extended shelf life) products such as juice and milk in the cold chain.
The light, stable and break-proof features of the returnable PET containers make them more convenient for consumers and safer to use.
Both firms have designed the new sustainable PET container for use for a wide range of beverages.
Krones enviro sustainability programme leader Martina Birk said: “Which type of packaging performs best from an ecological perspective depends on a number of factors and must be evaluated individually for each use case.”
To attain an objective and meaningful base of data, Krones’ development plant for washing technology in Flensburg conducted a series of tests to analyse the interaction of different bottle designs and cleaning processes.
The tests revealed that a combination of parameters, including lye concentration, temperature, additive, and mechanical impact, at temperatures at around 60 °C will help efficiently remove dried protein, fat, and starch contamination from the containers.
According to the company, microbiological tests are currently being carried out to definitively establish whether the technology is safe.
Alpla returnables expert and project lead Jörg Schwärzler said: “Until now, the main applications for returnable PET containers have been carbonated soft drinks and water.
“But we were certain that, if we combined our expertise in materials science, preform design, container design, and systems engineering, we could find a solution for sensitive beverages like juices and dairy products. The option of using a 38-millimetre bottle neck offers particular advantages for sensitive returnable applications.”