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05 | 2008

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Bottle Applications The

Bottle Applications The founders, Manfred Burkart and Lothar M. Lappöhn, located in Berlin, are two veterans in the water business. In 1996 they brought the „WaterCooler“ to Germany and with it a new way of consuming cooled water in the office or at the shopping mall. The company was sold in 2000 to Hutchinson Whampoa and after the integration process and the creation of the new European brand PowWow water, which is Nestlewaters today, they left the water business, to return in 2007 with a new exciting venture in the ever growing water market. happYwater today is the fastest growing private label water company in Germany and will be the number one by the end of 2009 with an annual sales volume of 5 million bottles. Part of this hughe success is the fact that happYwater will be the first German company with a DIN CERTCO certified PLA water bottle within the EN 13432 regulation. The first mass produced happYwater bio-bottle will be made completely of PLA, including the label and the cap. Supported by the German Government (the next amendment to the Packaging Ordinance comes in effect in 2009) biodegradable PLA bottles will be exempted from the stringent mandatory deposit. This creates a unique selling point and a clear price advantage. This is essential, also for the image of PLA, since big corporations and known companies identify with this product and they will communicate this innovative and clean product to their customers and the public. This combination of two new markets in Germany is the perfect start for PLA in an exciting segment, the bottled water market which is also becoming more and more controversial, due to the fact that PET bottles are made of oil. Of course there will be more controversies coming up in the future, but for the bottled water industry this will be a good testing ground. Private label water will stay a niche business. Nevertheless, there is a lot of potential in this niche and room for more innovations, which the two founders have already in the pipeline. In the next 20 years there will many problems and therefore many opportunities coming up in the bottled water business and a big part of it will be the packaging. Germany is also a good testing ground for the PLA bottle, in connection with the separation of PET and PLA within the recycling resp. the degradation process, which is managed by the German Duales System. By the end of 2012, which the ‘transfer law’ is aimed at, the technology will be much more advanced. One big advantage for PLA will be that the bottles are filled exclusively with still water. Also the bottles are in circulation for approximately 4 to 8 weeks from production date to consumption date. This minimizes problems through the known weak points of PLA concerning the use of carbonated drinks, or unlike retail where a circulation of 6 to 9 months is common. Leakage and deformation will not be an issue. happYwater wants to be part of this process in the future and is already looking for additional markets and innovative products. After all, the waterwheel keeps turning and turning. www.happywater.de Our covergirl Christina says: „A bottle made from plants - sounds like a good idea. But what about the food vs. biofuel debate? Isn‘t that similar?“ Christina is curious to read this complete issue of bioplastics MAGAZINE. bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3 23

Bottle Applications Closure mainly made from PLA compound “EcoSield” PLA Bottle (TiO 2 whitening) PLA shrink label Fig. 1: “EcoSield” protopye bottles Article contributed by Dr. Takurou Ito, Manager, Plastic Bottle Development Department , Dr. Takurou Ito Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd. Yokohama, Japan This article is based on a presentation of Dr. Ito at the 1st PLA World Congress, Munich, Germany, 9.-10. Sept. 2008 Today it is widely accepted that the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions is a very important factor in the prevention of global warming. Therefore Toyo Seikan Kaisha, Ltd. from Yokohama, Japan, gives serious consideration to the following questions: “What kind of packaging is the best for our environment?” and “In what way will this packaging protect it?” With regard to these questions, the company has taken a positive step by developing an eco-friendly bottle that is called “EcoSield”. The Toyo Seikan Group consists 66 companies, including subsidiaries across South East Asia, China, and Japan. In 2006 the consolidated turnover was about 4 billion Euros. The group is a packaging supplier producing metal cans, plastic bottles, glass, paper cups, closures, chemical materials and packaging manufacturing machinery. Toyo Seikan, Kaisha Ltd, parent company of Toyo Seikan Group companies, is the largest packaging company in Asia, operating in six countries (Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia and Indonesia) with net sales of about two billion Euros. The product line is divided into nine groups comprising a wide variety of packaging for beverages, food, toiletries and cosmetics, and health care products for everyday life. EcoSield Toyo Seikan has developed an environmentally-friendly packaging called “EcoSield” made predominantly from carbon-neutral PLA. EcoSield stands for Ecoactive, Simplicity, Earth and Land, Decontamination. EcoSield and EcoSield-WO are the two different types that are available today. EcoSield is a simple PLA bottle and is available for packaging chilled drinks and water. In addition to that, EcoSield-WO has an excellent gas barrier performance thanks to the use of Toyo Seikan’s unique gas barrier technology applied by a plasma CVD method. This bottle is suitable for oxygen-sensitive and watersensitive contents. Figure 1 shows EcoSield-bottles. They consist of three parts: bottle, closure and shrink label. The bottle is made from 100 percent PLA with a whitening pigment. Figure 2 shows the relationship between the d- isomer content of the PLA resin and the overflow volume reduction of PLA bottles. The overflow volume reduction indicates the rate of the thermal shrinkage of the bottle. It can be seen that the lower the d-isomer content of the PLA, the higher the thermal stability of the PLA bottle when it is kept in an atmoshpere of 55°C. Table 1 shows 24 bioplastics MAGAZINE [05/08] Vol. 3

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