A “breakthrough” packaging polymer – “a value-based alternative to glass” which can be used to produce thick-walled injection blow-moulded containers – has been launched by Eastman Specialty Plastics.

Known as Glass Polymer, the company says it looks and feels like glass, offers extended design possibilities, is shatter-proof and provides “enhanced flexibility compared with traditional glass used for cosmetic bottles and cream jars”.

Specialty Plastics marketing manager Vincent Gugumus explains: “Cosmetics companies are looking for a cost-efficient bottle, capable of packaging high quality products while simultaneously delivering glass’s premium look and feel without the associated disadvantages. Our Glass Polymers are easy to decorate and shatter-resistant. Before Glass Polymer, the sector could only choose between thick-walled clear glass bottles or shatter-resistant but thin, squeezable plastic containers.”

The polymer is also said to offer greater dimensional control than glass, ensuring bottle neck and closure have a closer fit and, in some cases, obviating the need to insert a soft layer into the cap to ensure a leak-proof pack.

Eastman says bottles with “extremely thick” walls can be moulded “without sacrificing the water-like clarity and aesthetics the beauty industry expects”.