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Mitsubishi to double capacity of high-barrier PET bottles

By: Steve Toloken

May 31, 2013

Mitsubishi Plastics Inc. is investing 1 billion yen ($9.95 million) to double production of its high-barrier PET bottles, setting up a new production site in Hiratsuka city.

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi said there is growing demand in Japan for the high-barrier PET for alcoholic beverages and oils, and it said production is expected to begin in Hiratsuka in November.

Currently the company produces the high-barrier PET bottles, with technology that deposits a layer of thin carbon film on the inside of the bottle, at its Azai factory in Nagahama City. The new Hiratsuka plant will give it stable supply throughout Japan, the company said in a news release.

Mitsubishi said the material is targeted to replace glass and cartons, and offers significantly better barrier properties than traditional PET.

The material is 10 times better at preventing oxygen permeation, seven times better at limiting carbon gas permeation, and five times better at controlling water vapor permeation, the company said.

“These superior characteristics have been highly appreciated by major wine and sake manufacturers, and employed as alternatives for glass bottles and cartons,” the company said. “The demand for high-barrier PET bottles is expected to increase further, given the strong sales of wines and sake in PET bottles and more diversified applications of these bottles.”