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Issue 04/2020

  • Text
  • Bottles
  • Biodegradable
  • Packaging
  • Sustainable
  • Environmental
  • Renewable
  • Plastics
  • Materials
  • Biobased
  • Bioplastics
Highlights: Bottle Applications Beauty and Healthcare Basics: bio-PDO, bio-BDO

Bottles Biobased bottles

Bottles Biobased bottles – a challenge Eurobottle - Still searching for a better future For over 25 years, Eurobottle has been producing promotional sports bottles. Supported by sister company Flestic (both from Dronten,The Netherlands) a well-established manufacturer of plastic packaging, Eurobottle has been able to provide high quality products for an excellent price/quality ratio. However, just high quality isn’t good enough for keeping our customers satisfied. Customers want a sustainable promotional item that supports them to show of to their customers. Eurobottle’s search for a better future started over 10 years ago. At that time the competition passed the company from all sides, because they sold so-called biobottles. “Our customers didn’t understand why we did not offer them, “ as Peter Westveer, Commercial director Eurobottle B.V. points out. “For us that was really clear, but difficult to explain.” The bottles were ordinary PE bottles with an oxo-degradable additive. Eurobottle always stood for honesty and transparency. We had to tell our customers that these bottles were actually bad for the environment (at least not proven to be good) and gave a really bad signal, whilst the customers thought they were doing good. “But who would believe us?” Peter added. For Eurobottle it was obvious to start the search for a more sustainable bottle, but with a true story. They came into contact with FKuR (Willich, Germany) and in 2010 they presented the Eurobottle product made of their Bio-Flex ® resins at the K-show in Düsseldorf. Bio-Flex was (and still is) an excellent product and Eurobottle was really thrilled to start testing with this material. Finally, the bottles were never launched, for a number of reasons. First of all, the bottles ought to be made by using the existing tooling. For the extrusion blow moulding of the bottle, this worked pretty well. The Bio-Flex bottle had a great appearance and feel, of haptik as the Germans call it so beautifully. The production of the cap and nozzle was completely different. Because of the very limited shrinkage of the Bio-Flex resin, the parts did not release from the mould very easily. This worked for the sampling, however this wouldn’t work for commercial production. Also the dimensions and the flexibility of the cap and nozzle from Bio-Flex were slightly different and this made it impossible to produce a 100 % non-leaking sports bottle using the existing moulds. At that time, developing a completely new bottle for this purpose and the investment 18 bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/20] Vol. 15

Bottles involved was not within reach. Another issue that came up, was the fact that a sports bottle is meant to be filled with water or whatever sports drink. This makes that the bottle is always wet from the inside and we saw over time that the parts made of Bio-Flex were affected by the contents of the bottle. The search continued. “Customers kept on pushing us,” Peter says, “we were convinced to find the best possible solution, but we knew it would cost time and patience.” Many sustainable resins were tested, many disappointments were dealt with. None of the resins could meet the requirements which were clear but challenging. Non-fossil, renewable, food compliant, reusable and recyclable. The Dutch bottlemakers kept on trying until FKuR introduced them to Braskem’s Green Polyethylene in 2012. In them they found their holy grail, this is what they were looking for. Back then and still now, this material meets all the requirements. The materials can be processed on the existing blow moulding and injection moulding machines. Also the existing moulds can be used. Many trials and migration tests followed and at the start of 2013 the company first introduced their sustainable biobased sports bottle to the market. The interest was overwhelming and the Eurobottle’s future was secured. There was only one issue. The bottle was too expensive due to the high price of the resin. Every customer wanted this sustainable bottle, but they didn’t want to pay the little extra. Why should they, no-one could see the difference between a regular bottle and a biobased bottle. It was only the story that made the difference, but who will hear the story? Again it turned out that being sustainable is all about marketing and is finally killed by money. “At Eurobottle we are destined to break that tradition as we truly believe that we all have to contribute to a better world,” Peter continues. “We had to take our responsibility and we did. We decided to absorb the extra cost ourselves and sell our biobased bottle at the same price as the regular bottles. As per today, we do not produce any bottle from regular plastic anymore. We are at 100 % biobased.” “But the story continues, the gap isn’t closed, we can do better! Our bottle must become 100 % circular! To get there, we have to face many new challenges. Availability, odour, colour and finally food compliance.” “We are ready to face the challenge and we are open for support. Who joins us on our journey? We never stop searching for a better future!” MT www.eurobottle.nl | www.flestic.com Join us at the 15th European Bioplastics Conference – the leading business forum for the bioplastics industry. 1/2 December 2020 Hotel Savoyen, Vienna, Austria @EUBioplastics #eubpconf2020 www.european-bioplastics.org/events REGISTER NOW! For more information email: conference@european-bioplastics.org bioplastics MAGAZINE [04/20] Vol. 15 19

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