Owens-Illinois Plastics has developed a coating system claimed to greatly enhance the appearance and handling qualities of PET.

PETStat, developed by O-I Plastics in Europe and R&D centres in the US, is now installed at the UK manufacturing plant, supplying containers to Proctor and Gamble for its Clairol product range.

Bottles coated with PETStat were found to have 18% of the stickiness of non-treated bottles. This development is said to give PET similar properties to HDPE, adding technical benefits to the aesthetic advantages of the plastics.

The coating works by reducing the static charge of PET bottles and jars, which makes them less prone to jamming and sticking on a filling line. Scuffing during transit is also reduced, and bulk palletisation and unpacking of bulk products should require less effort.

Steve Carter, O-I Plastics European and Middle Eastern sales director says: “This is a great breakthrough for PET and ought to encourage many companies who have held off converting to the material to rethink their position. PETStat all but eliminates scuffing and scratching and vastly improves filling line efficiencies.”

The company has invested £500 000 to add the technology to seven of its production lines at Oxfordshire, where coating is sprayed onto the containers as they leave the forming machines. Plans are in place to introduce PETStat to the Netherlands plant and other O-I sites worldwide.