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05 | 2008

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Bottle Applications made

Bottle Applications made from Article contributed by Dr.-Ing. Jan Kirchner, General Manager, Ki-Si-Co GmbH, Oestrich-Winkel, Germany Fig. 2: Prototype and final design Current developments For a client seeking a bottle and cap suitable for use for a nutritional supplement in tablet form a package was developed based on natural biological materials and which met the demands of the consumers for ecologically acceptable packaging and contents. Important criteria were: • A good water vapour barrier • Easy opening and handling • Ability to be resealed • Tamper evidence • About 150 ml capacity • Wide neck for ease of dispensing tablets • Suitable for food contact. The previous packaging was a cardboard carton which only partially met the above criteria. For the development project [4] Ki-Si-Co selected firstly a standard bottle from a company with which we work closely and standard caps from our own range [3] which had performed well in conventional plastic. For the plastic a material based on maize starch was selected, which had the mechanical properties necessary to produce the tamper evidence feature. In figure 2 on the left the functional prototype variant is shown and on the right is the redesigned final model with a smooth outer surface and a more attractive shape. Another interesting alternative to a pure bioplastic is a blend of conventional plastics and biomaterials. By adding barley bran or maize meal to polypropylene about 20 percent conventional plastic can be saved, as well as achieving interesting visual effects [5]. Experience with bioplastics When injection moulding biomaterials consideration must be given to the specific characteristics of each material. The use of hot runners, for instance, is not generally possible because the cooling around the hot runner nozzle is less effective and the surface of the moulded parts in this area is hard to grip. In fact, in contrast to conventional plastics, generally more attention has to be paid to the management of the mould-tool temperature and the melt temperature than to the tool itself. Overall significantly higher cycle times must be expected - at times even twice the usual cycle time. The strong intrinsic colouring of some materials often makes it difficult to mould them in different colours, especially light colours. An important aspect of biomaterials is the current supply situation. Because the market demand for film for food wrapping and for agricultural use is booming just now, and the producers are generally running at full capacity, there is little incentive or interest in moving to new alternatives. Many types of bioplastic are suitable only for extrusion. The level of commitment by many of the injection moulders at the moment leaves something to be desired. Because, however, many manufacturers are currently investing in significant increases in their capacity things should improve in the medium term. Many materials are either a lot harder or softer than polypropylene (the standard material for caps). A type of bioplastic that comes close to the mechanical properties of polypropylene would make things a lot easier. The prices for bioplastics are, at the moment, at a level which makes them more likely to find application in bottles and caps for niche markets. Given the increasing capacity amongst producers or bioplastics, and the increasing price of crude oil on the other hand, the price differences should even out in the medium term. Conclusion With the right experience in the processing of bioplastics it is possible to produce caps for the widest range of applications. We have been successful in moulding caps from wood pulp, lignin, maize starch and polylactic acid (Fig 3). www.kisico.de bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3 19

Bottle Applications Primo Water offer Mineral Enriched Water in PLA bottles Primo Water Corporation, a privately-held company based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA manufactures mineral enriched bottled water. According to a recently published press release Primo is the only nationally distributed bottled water whose bottle is made from plants, not crude oil. Primo Water offers a sustainable bottled water option without having to give up portability, convenience and great refreshing taste. The bottle is made from Ingeo TM , NatureWorks’ PLA resin that is a 100% renewable resource “grown on American soil”, as the company proudly stated. “Primo Water, with its plant based bottle, is leading the movement for sustainable green packaging, especially in bottled water. The fact that Primo is recyclable and compostable was a big plus to our event. We were very pleased to find them,” said Jim Flint, president of the Rattlesnake Triathlon (www.rattlesnaketri.com). Consumers will not only enjoy Primo for its environmental benefits, but also for its great taste. In blind taste tests conducted at the end of 2007 across the U.S., three out of four consumers preferred Primo over the leading spring water and four out of five preferred Primo over tap water 1 . In fact, Primo water was enjoyed at the MusiCares ® Person of the Year event, on the red carpet and in the green room of the first ‘green’ GRAMMY awards ceremony held in Los Angeles on February 10th. “We‘re proud to bring consumers a more environmentally-friendly bottled water,“ said Billy Prim, CEO of Primo Water Corporation. “Not only does Primo give consumers the great taste, convenience, everyday price value and availability that they‘ve been looking for in a bottled water, it also helps them to leave a better world for their children.“ “With Primo, consumers have told us they feel good twice; once for promoting their own health by drinking more water and avoiding sugar, and twice, for helping to preserve the precious and depleting resources of our planet,“ said Dave Burke, President and COO of Primo To Go. Today, three product lines make up Primo Water Corporation’s portfolio. The first, introduced in June of 2005, offers 3 and 5 gallon Zero Waste bottles and an exchange program that rewards consumers for recycling their bottles for refills. The second, launched in April of 2008, is a new line of Energy Star rated and stylish water coolers. And the third is a single-serve bottled water, in a more-environmentally-friendly bottle made from PLA. Primo is available at nearly 4,000 retail stores across the USA. 1 Taste tests conducted by an independent contractor, Marketing Connections, in Charlotte, Tampa, Boston, Dallas, Columbus and Los Angeles between September and December 2007 www.primowater.com. Watch a series of YouTube clips at www.bioplasticsmagazine.de/200805 20 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

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