Chicago — Known for its glass tableware, Libbey Inc. turned to plastic for its new line of drinkware designed for outdoor and casual environments.
The Infinium line of plastic drinkware, injection molded with Eastman Chemical Co.'s Tritan copolyester, is intended as a more upscale alternative in venues where plastic drinkware is preferred, such as poolside, cruise ships, outdoor dining and nightclubs.
Tritan was selected over acrylic, SAN and polycarbonate in part because of its dishwasher durability and resistance to staining and odors, said Jerry Moore, senior category manager of beverageware, at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago.
Already one of the largest glass tableware manufacturers in the world, Libbey saw plastic drinkware as logical area to expand into, he added.
The Infinium line launched in 2015 with 18 different items, ranging from shot glasses to mugs to pitchers, and Libbey is in the process of adding seven new items, to debut in May. The Infinium brand also will be expanded to include a line of items with a new, organic texture, Moore said.
Libbey previously experimented with plastic drinkware items about a decade ago, using polycarbonate, but the line didn't catch on, Moore said, in part because the line comprised only a small number of available items.
The Infinium line is already in use at hundreds of food service venues in the United States and Canada, Moore said, and recently launched in Europe as well.
Libbey is based in Toledo, Ohio, with manufacturing plants in the U.S., Mexico, China, Portugal and the Netherlands.