Plastics News senior reporter Frank Esposito collected these briefs from the Packaging Conference, held Feb. 4-6 in Las Vegas.
Phoenix introduces recycled PET pellet
Phoenix Technologies International LLC has developed a new recycled PET pellet that can be processed like powder and used in bottles, sheet and other food-grade applications.
The LNO C-brand pellet can be made via a process that eliminates many of the steps of conventional recycling, Phoenix President Robert Deardurff said.
The new process costs less and uses 25 percent less energy, resulting in a reduction of 15 percent in direct operating costs, he added.
Bowling Green, Ohio-based Phoenix opened a pilot plant making the new material in the second half of 2007. That plant has annual capacity of 5 million pounds, but could be at 10 million pounds by the end of 2008. Small commercial amounts already have been sold.
Phoenix operates 65 million pounds of PET recycling capacity, with half of its output going into food-grade material.
Dow trumpets value of plasma-coated PP
Dow Chemical Co. is touting the value of plasma-coated polypropylene containers as a PET replacement in smaller bottles.
In testing, plasma-coated PP bottles can be downgauged to create 10 percent cost savings vs. PET, said Jason Brodil, plastics development specialist for Midland, Mich.-based Dow. The material also can offer similar oxygen transmission rates.
Test runs of 500 bottles have been accomplished in bottles less than 32 ounces in size, including 500-milliliter bottles for isotonic drinks.
HyGuard PET process boosts oxygen barrier
ColorMatrix Inc. has developed proprietary oxygen barrier technology for clear PET packaging. The technology - under the HyGuard name - creates an excellent oxygen barrier and recycling performance, according to John Standish, emerging technology director with the Berea, Ohio-based materials firm.
Materials made via the technology could be used to package fresh fruit without preservatives or to make improved, thinner-walled containers for juices, tea and wine.
Potentially, the product could have 300 times the oxygen barrier performance of standard PET, Standish said.
``This could be game-changing technology,'' Standish said.
HyGuard technology is not yet commercial, but a patent has been filed.