Published On: Tue, Oct 25th, 2011

Compostable shell plus plastic pouch combine as recyclable, low-weight bottle

Rigid plastics, glass and metal packaging processor Berlin Packaging has teamed with Ecologic Brands Inc. to begin commercial marketing

of the latter company’s “eco.bottles”, so called because they are made from a recyclable and compostable fiber shell, with a plastic pouch and closure. The result is a bottle that requires up to 70% less plastic than a standard high-density polyethylene blowmolded package.

Ecologic Brands officially introduced its eco.bottles only this year at the Pack Expo show.  Berlin Packaging (Chicago) will work with Ecologic to commercially introduce the packaging. Recycling of the bottles involves splitting open a side of the fiber shell, at which point the outer (fiber) package separates. The fiber halves, made from old corrugated cardboard and newspapers, can be recycled up to seven more times, according to Ecologic. The inner pouch and closure system, both of low-density polyethylene, are recyclable as well. The pouch also can be converted from HDPE. The companies predict the hybrid bottles will be specified for packaging of laundry and household detergents, non-carbonated beverages, lawn and garden products,

The bottles do carry a price premium over standard blowmolded plastic packaging. But Ecologic and Berlin Packaging reckon companies that adopt the package can anticipate a future cost comparable to traditional packaging materials over the next 12-18 months as automation and production capacity build.

“Berlin Packaging prides itself in bringing new innovations to market, and the eco.bottle certainly is the latest package that is creating excitement with our client base,” said Glenn Scott, VP product development and strategic sourcing for Berlin Packaging. “Consumers have proven again and again that they not only embrace environmentally-friendly packaging, but also reward those marketers who offer them. We believe the eco.bottle will hold strong appeal to all classes of consumers and will be useful in both product launch and rebranding opportunities.”

The eco.bottle line will be available starting January 2012 in a 50-ounce size with a detergent-style dosing cap or twist cap, a 32-ounce size with a detergent-style dosing cap or twist cap, and a 64-ounce size with a 38mm spout suited for orange juice and dairy products. The 32-oz bottle weighs 64- 68 grams, of which 40-44 is the molded fiber shell and the thermoplastic pouch, spout and locking collar account for 24 grams.

The containers can be supplied fully assembled; some filling line modification is required. The bottles also can be supplied unassembled to a filler, in which case it takes on the assembly work but saves on shipping as the disassembled eco.bottles allow nine times more bottles to be shipped per truck than empty blow molded bottles, according to Berlin Packaging. An assembled and filled bottle passes ISTA Performance testing, reports Berlin.


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