PET, when used as a material for closures, has a vast number of benefits.
There is a global call to action on sustainable packaging and this is driving demand in the local food and beverage industry for superior, more versatile bottle and jar closures. It places considerable pressure on the plastics industry to supply closures that are more cost effective, more sustainable, environmentally friendly, have greater aesthetic appeal and are lighter in mass.
Plastics are set to expand market share by supplanting metal closures, as plastic containers increasingly replace glass containers and compatible metal closures in a variety of food and beverage applications. The next five years will see radical transformation in the packaging sector and PETClosureS is already ahead of the curve with commitment from some of the biggest retailers and brand owners in Southern Africa.
IMPROVED RECYCLING EFFICIENCIES
If all closures were more aligned with the container or jar they were closing, the entire package would be more recyclable. Often containers are made from PET but the closure is Polyprop which creates an issue within recycling and separation of the materials is required. With PETclosureS the entire container and closure is one material and goes directly into a recycling process. The use of a PET closure on a PET container makes the entire unit fully recyclable and is also an excellent candidate for thermal recycling (incineration). This supports the call for improved waste management systems and can be therefore aligned to the retailer’s sustainability journey.
Metal closures have provided the industry with various benefits however PETclosureS also offers a number of these benefits such as a rigid closure providing tamper-proofing. This then also replaces metal on glass bottles, providing an aesthetically attractive ‘glass on glass’ look.
The alternatives to PET are glass, aluminium and polyprop however the first two require mining of natural resources and refining in furnaces at extremely high temperatures. PET has clear advantages when it comes to raw materials and lesser environmental impact.
Reduced shelf space – in the FMCG market, shelf space in retail stores is at an all time premium and retail merchandisers now favour packaging that considers shelf space constraints and are easily stackable. PET closures have better stacking properties and allow for a 25% gain in shelf space.
As Government continues its drive to ensure responsible use of natural resources and sustainable processes in the packaging sector, the footprint of packaging will come under further scrutiny and, much like the punitive action seen around the use of plastic bags, so other packaging will become more tightly legislated. Early adoption of these PET closures will allow brands to stay ahead of the curve while also aligning to the organisation’s environmental goals.
Technical attributes and advantages
- Good clarity and gloss
- Chemical resistance – longer shelf life and better integrity of products
- Low gas permeation
- Good processability
- Good dimensional stability
- No leakage
- Approved for food and beverage packaging
- Opportunities for integrated and effective tamper proofing
- Product safety and contamination protection: PET has high rigidity and strength, making it safer than glass as it does not shatter into shards nor does it dent like metal (which increases risk of glass chipping and potential contamination from resultant metal exposure).