KHS develops wide-neck PET containers for hot filling

With its low weight and good recycling properties KHS’ line-compatible container reduces the carbon footprint throughout its entire lifecycle (Photo: KHS Group)

Manufactured on the KHS InnoPET Blomax Series V, the PET alternative to non-returnable glass, thus reducing the carbon footprint

KHS has developed wide-neck PET containers that can be used for the hot filling of food. With its low weight and recycling properties, this line-compatible container reduces the carbon footprint throughout its entire lifecycle, the company claimed. Furthermore, this alternative to the non-returnable glass receptacle also provides product safety with FreshSafe PET coating.

Sebastian Wenderdel, non-beverage global product account manager at KHS Corpoplast in Hamburg, Germany, said, “Saving carbon dioxide is an important issue for food companies, both regarding the design of the packaging and the way their supply chains are organised. It’s our aim to not only reduce our customers’ carbon footprint but also increase production reliability. Individually designed, lightweight containers also improve the consumer experience.” 

Sustainable alternative to non-returnable glass: Wide-neck PET containers from KHS
The example of the above are the new, hot-fillable, wide-neck PET containers for food from the systems supplier – an unbreakable, resource- saving and highly customisable alternative to the traditional non-returnable glass container. This line-compatible type of packaging can be produced on the energy-efficient InnoPET Blomax Series V stretch blow moulder in what is known as the blow-trim process or from preforms with a moulded neck which can be crystalline as required.

“By heating the blow moulds electrically, we can thermally condition the containers for standard market filling temperatures,” Wenderdel explained.

The PET alternative has been designed to withstand both the positive and negative pressures which can occur in the closed container following the filling process.

Safe and ecologically favourable: PET containers’ benefits
KHS has consciously opted for PET plastic for its new wide-neck containers.

“At the moment most wide-neck containers are still made of non-returnable glass. PET containers have many advantages over glass, however, and not just as far as costs are concerned,” Wenderdel said.

The plastic packaging is primarily worth considering from an ecological standpoint alone.

“PET preforms aren’t just much lighter than glass containers; they’re also smaller, which means that they take up less space during transportation and storage,” he added.

Even when full the plastic container has a clear ecological advantage over glass en route to the consumer thanks to its low weight.

PET containers also have a higher energy efficiency than non-returnable glass receptacles. During both in-house manufacture and recycling they consume considerably less energy and thus ecologically harmful CO2.

He described PET as a “good insulator”, and explained, “The filling temperatures needed to obtain the necessary number of pasteurisation units are thus lower than those for glass.”

All of these benefits help beverage bottlers to cut their carbon emissions by up to 90% – especially if they use containers with a high recyclate content.

KHS enables customised container systems
Another advantage of PET containers is their capacity for individual design. This aspect is particularly important when it comes to hot filling.

Christian Rommel, head of packaging design at KHS Corpoplast, said, “It’s not possible to implement a generic container system here as there are large variances from customer to customer in the process steps, i.e. in the preparation, filling and handling of containers.”

With its holistic Bottles & Shapes consultancy programme KHS provides the answer to this specific challenge. The German engineering company supports bottlers throughout the entire design process, at the end of which a customised container is produced which is perfectly tailored to the customer’s individual requirements and takes the specifications of the filling line into direct consideration.

For products which are sensitive to oxygen the wide-neck container can be given a tried-and-tested FreshSafe PET coating. With the thin layer of glass applied to the inside of the bottle, this barrier coating provides optimum product protection. This type of container combines all the advantages of light, fully recyclable plastic packaging with those of a gas-tight glass container.