Closing the Loop with Post-consumer Recycled PET Beverage Bottles

Beverage bottle companies aim to leave a positive legacy while ensuring minimal impact on the environment, especially when it comes to sustainable packaging and responsible sourcing.

Bottles for carbonated drinks require more strength when compared to bottles for still beverages. This small fact created a big problem for one beverage bottle customer, when they set out to create a beverage bottle for carbonated drinks made with 100% recycled PET (rPET). The bottle preform refused to stretch properly during the blow molding process, making it difficult to reach their sustainable goal.

PolyOne’s ColorMatrix™ Smartheat™ Infrared Absorber is primarily used to reduce energy usage (10–15%) during injection-stretch blow molding. However, this solution also makes for a cleaner resin for the recycling stream. Smartheat™ was used to widen the blowing window, allowing the recycled resin to be evenly distributed along the bottle. With this beverage bottle customer’s sustainable vision and PolyOne’s Smartheat™ additive for PET, Australia’s first carbonated soft drink bottles made from 100% rPET hit the market. More single-serve plastic bottles in Australia will now switch to the new fully recycled materials by the end of 2019.