A Rochester, N.Y., company is competing with PVC blister packaging by supplying customers with less-expensive post-consumer PET.
Precision Packaging Products Inc. began business in 1981 by producing PVC blister packaging. When customers began asking for recycled content, the firm developed a lower-priced blister pack using post-industrial PVC.
``Our goal was to make recycled packaging more cost effective,'' said sales representative Terry Moore. ``Styrene has clarity, but it was more expensive. We were always looking to sell something other than PVC, something more cost-effective.''
As a result, in 1990 the economics of PET offered customers the advantage they wanted and met the requirements for pending recycled-content legislation.
``Post-consumer PVC was not available and with the bottle bill in New York, recycling became more open to communities,'' Moore said.
The company receives recycled-content PET sheet from Kama Corp. in Hazelton, Pa. The Rochester plant has six thermoforming machines that form blister packages for markets including pet products, electronics, cellular phones and health-care and personal-care products.
Although PVC is easier to form and cut, Precision has spent seven years perfecting the process with recycled PET.
``Certain applications don't perform well,'' said President Kerry Kyle. ``But, we continue to prove polyesters heat-seal well as long as the parameters of the equipment are set accordingly.''
The company plans to add another thermoforming machine next year at the Rochester plant as well as move into the Southeast. One of Precision's customers moved from New York to Florida and the firm anticipates that the opening of a new plant will increase accounts in the area.
Precision still sells virgin PVC clamshells if they are radio-frequency sealed.
Although 80 percent of the company's business is within a 500-mile radius of the Rochester plant, it also does business in Mexico and Italy.
With 40 workers, the firm had sales of $8 million last year, $2 million of which was in recycled PET products.