Two packaging giants have chosen the dairy business in England as the focus of a global alliance in blow molded packaging. Graham Packaging Group, the English branch of York, Pa.-based Graham Packaging Co., and Tetra Pak Ltd., of Uxbridge, England, announced their cooperative effort Aug. 10.
Graham's British blow molding operation, Compac, whose one facility is outside London in Bracknell, will now operate as Compac - a Tetra Pak-Graham Co.
One packaging industry observer speculated that the industry teaming of companies known as fierce competitors could have great ramifications for the packaging industry in Europe.
Graham lists its global sales as being in excess of $500 million. Besides producing blow molded bottles in PET for soft drink makers and in high density polyethylene for detergents, oils, and other products, Graham also makes blow molding machinery through its York-based Graham Engineering Corp. and Techne SpA in Bologna, Italy.
Tetra Pak lists its assets as $7.5 billion, with sales in 120 countries. Tetra Pak is a large blow molder in Europe, but is well-known for its drink box aseptic packaging.
``The British liquid food market is rapidly moving from glass to plastic, and to some extent from aseptic paper boxes to plastic,'' Graham Chairman Don Graham said.
``Tetra Pak has seen that conversion into plastic, wanted to participate in that opportunity and was looking for someone who had expertise in package development. Great Britain is the only place where Graham is located [outside the United States].
``The same conversion is going all over the world and especially in Europe,'' Graham said. Plastic ``is becoming more of a factor where milk is sold as fresh rather than in aseptic packages, which don't require refrigeration.''