Thanks to Bottles & Shapes™ lightweighting expertise from KHS, 0.5-liter PET bottles weighing just 8.9 grams and 1.5-liter PET containers at 22 grams are now available in Brazilian stores for the first time ever. The German systems provider of packaging and filling machinery has developed special bottle designs and preforms for both formats, making the PET bottles much lighter than the plastic bottles commonly found in South America while giving consumers the high degree of bottle stability they expect. Water bottler Água Mineral Santa Joana recently began filling its new, lightweight PET bottles and is now making considerable cost savings in both materials and energy.
“The lightweight PET bottles developed by KHS mark the start of a switch to extremely lightweight bottles on the South American market,” emphasizes Prof. Dr.-Ing. Matthias Niemeyer, CEO of KHS GmbH. To date, relatively heavy PET bottles have been commonly used to bottle beverages on the subcontinent. “With the expertise provided by KHS beverage producers can now cut down considerably on their use of resources in the long term.” This applies to energy, personnel and space – and not just to simply saving on bottle material.
Great savings potential through less use of material
The new 0.5- and 1.5-liter PET bottles for still water weigh significantly less than the bottles usually found in South America. Here, a 0.5-liter PET bottle normally weighs 13 grams, with the 1.5-liter PET bottle notching up 26 grams on the scales. KHS clearly reduces these weights, with the new 0.5-liter PET receptacle weighing just 8.9 grams and the 1.5-liter PET container only 22 grams – a saving of 31.5% and 15.4% respectively.
In both sizes of bottle material is specifically saved by the bottle thread being much lighter. This now weighs in at 1.9 grams only for bottles with a neck diameter of 26 mm. KHS also makes sizable material savings in the bottle body. “Despite this much lower use of resources our lightweight PET bottles still boast undiminished high stability,” states Arne Wiese, Product Manager for Bottles & Shapes™. This refers to the processing of bottles on the line, storage, shipping and finally handling in store. Within its Bottles & Shapes™ program KHS has redeveloped the lightweight PET bottles according to design specifications while taking the special requirements of the established Brazilian beverage producer into account.
“Around 70% of the manufacturing costs for a PET bottle are attributable to the material used. Beverage producers can therefore considerably cut their costs by reducing the amount of materials consumed,” explains Wiese. For example, with an annual production capacity of 300 million 1.5-liter PET bottles and a reduction of four grams in the packaging weight the potential saving amounts to up to €1.8 million – €450,000 per year for each gram saved.
Light PET bottles in store in northeastern Brazil
Água Mineral Santa Joana recently began filling its still water into lightweight PET bottles and selling them in northeastern Brazil. The company produces its bottles on an InnoPET Blomax 12 S machine which outputs up to 27,000 0.5-liter and up to 26,400 1.5-liter PET bottles per hour.
“Europe and the USA are a big step ahead of South America when it comes to lightweight PET bottles. However, we see great potential here for boosting efficiency and providing sustainable PET bottling systems,” says Niemeyer. The Água Mineral Santa Joana project confirms this assessment; KHS has already received a number of further inquiries for lightweight PET developments from the South American continent.