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More firms move away from breakable glass

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By Jenny Eagle+

Last updated on 24-Feb-2014 at 12:09 GMT2014-02-24T12:09:18Z

Esterform Packaging
Esterform Packaging

Demand from elderly consumers and students for consumer packaging that is lighter in weight and easy to carry has led to a move away from breakable glass, according to Esterform Packaging.

The PET converter produces Innocent’s 1 litre carafes along with bottles and preforms for all types of beverage, from water and sparkling drinks to dairy, juice and functional drinks.

PCO neck preforms

Last year, it introduced short neck 28mm 1881 PCO neck preforms for soft drinks and water in bottles from 250ml to 2 litres.

The company claims its PCO neck preforms save on expensive PET resin and conserve precious resources – meeting consumer and retailer demands for sustainability.

Tetra Pak is a food processing and packaging company known for its production of carton-like pouches that hold many food and drink items.

Speaking to Charlotta Lyon, director, environment commercial relations and communications, Tetra Pak, she said minimizing the environmental impact is what all packaging companies should aspire to.

Every effort towards this direction, including reducing weight of a package, is important,” she told

"Tetra Pak takes a life cycle approach when it comes to reducing the overall environment impact of our packages – this involves responsible sourcing of raw materials, increasing use of renewable materials and making sure our packages protect food until it is consumed.”

Sainsbury’s peanut butter

According to UK National Government Statistics there were 26.4m households in the UK in 2012. Of these, 29% consisted of only one person - almost one third and this is increasing dramatically in Western Europe.

Esterform Packaging claims it is helping a number of retailers and brand owners with beverage and food packaging in a move away from breakable glass – which can put the supermarket aisle of out action.

It has designed PET jars for Sainsbury’s peanut butter packs, with an overall weight reduction of 83% in comparison with the original glass jars.

This supported Sainsbury’s target to cut total packaging weight by one third by 2015. The jar designs in 364ml and 710ml formats reflect the original brand image for the product – but with the practicality of PET material.

"We have the most ambitious packaging reduction target in the industry and meeting it will require hundreds of initiatives such as this,” said Stuart Lendrum, head of packaging, Sainsbury's.

"Our work on peanut butter is a great example of how you can reduce packaging without sacrificing its effectiveness. The jars are less prone to breaking making them even better than the previous ones.

"Excess packaging is one of the top concerns among customers, so it is a real priority for us. It is vital we strike the correct balance between ensuring packaging is functional and reducing the volume we use."

A spokesman for Esterform said it has also seen recent growth in 28mm neck bottles for condiments and savoury sauces, along with 38mm neck jars and bottles in PET in sizes from 190ml to 500ml while top down squeezy bottles are another growth sector.

1 comment (Comments are now closed)

Why we need to avoid a Hobson's Choice on the shelf

At British Glass we were disappointed at the choice of headline for this article and indeed some of the claims within. The term 'breakable glass' is rather like saying 'polluting plastic' - it misses the point that many types of packaging materials have an important function and usefulness on the store shelf. If the debate is polarised into these negative terms, surely we are in danger of misleading both customers and consumers so that informed choice cannot take place?

There are many fantastic innovations taking place in packaging technology which are enabling new ideas and formats to emerge. In glass containers, we are seeing brands such as Coca Cola enjoy an impressive 20% reduction in weight for its iconic bottle, while manufacturer Ardagh makes the bottle even tougher thanks to the latest thermal hardening processes. So in the battle for who's best, let's not forget that glass is an original circular economy model, offering powerful environmental and health benefits with 100% recyclable, chemical-free glass bottles and jars that will still be in use long after today's headlines are old news.

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Posted by Rebecca Cocking
27 February 2014 | 09h342014-02-27T09:34:34Z

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