APPE battles HDPE bottles with ‘radical’ PET launch

By Ben Bouckley

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Recyclable materials Polyethylene terephthalate

APPE developed the new technology for its DeepGrip bottles in partnership with Sidel
APPE developed the new technology for its DeepGrip bottles in partnership with Sidel
APPE insists that a ‘technological advance’ now allows it to produce large size polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles with recessed handles, and challenge blow-moulded HDPE rivals with a ‘significantly lighter’ alternative.

The end result is a bottle called DeepGrip (pictured), which can be produced in sizes up to seven litres, and is targeted at customers active in dairy, juice, food, edible and motor oils and water markets.

PET pre-form, bottle and container designer and producer APPE said it had developed the new product technology through an exclusive partnership with Swiss-headquartered food packaging line manufacturer Sidel.

APPE marketing manager Kinza Sutton told that APPE owned the DeepGrip concept patent for selected European countries and will manufacture the bottles, while Sidel is the machine developer and supplier.

How is it produced?

Sutton said that, with the new bottle, cost savings could be effected versus HDPE (high-density polyethylene), since “trials had shown”​ that PET bottles could be significantly lighter than HDPE alternatives.

But she said that, in this regard, APPE did not want to release actual figures or percentages at the current time.

Asked how the technology worked, Sutton said: “This is quite hard to describe! The bottle is blown, with the area of the handle protruding at the side.

“The machine then use two ‘arms’ to push this material into the bottle (inversing it), thus forming the DeepGrip handle.”

Design freedom

DeepGrip’s advantages included improved ergonomics of handles for containers sized 2 litres and above, as well as the benefits and “design freedom”​ of injection stretch blow-moulded PET.

Not only was the product transparent, Sutton said, injected neck finishes meant the containers would not leak once opened and resealed, while the technology was easy to integrate into filling lines.

Sustainability benefits included the ability to lightweight bottles (especially versus HDPE), while bottles could include recycled PET (rPET) content and were 100 per cent recyclable in a single material, she added.

Sutton said: “[DeepGrip] does not include clip-on or other handles made of a different plastic material, [and] does not contaminate the recycling stream.”

The clarity of PET would also improve bottle branding and aesthetics – allowing for full product visibility – while the “design flexibility”​ of PET would enable the production of eye-catching designs.

A division of Spanish firm La Seda de Barcelona (LSB), APPE was formerly called Artenius PET Packaging Europe.

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