Dairy PET: an alternative to PS?
European regulations and market demands are leading to a selection of plastics that can partially eliminate the use of some resins that are currently the majority in some applications.
This is the case with the packaging of dairy desserts and yoghurts. There are already some countries where, by agreement between retailers, PS is being eliminated and replaced by A-PET with a percentage of recycled material in its composition.
The main issue of change is not only using a new plastic but the adaptation of FFS packaging lines to a material for which they are not prepared. The main points where adaptations should be made to the lines are the thermoforming of the foil and the cutting. On the other hand, the change may mean a higher cost in packaging since PET has a 29% higher density than PS and, at the same thickness of the sheet, there would be a higher consumption of plastic.
In MP3, being aware of these adaptation problems, we are designing and developing a Dairy PET foil with the most attention to food safety issues that includes a percentage of recycled bottle flakes and that facilitates the forming and cutting of the containers. Our research is complemented, working together with the manufacturers of forming and cutting lines and tools, to achieve a reduction in the thickness of the foils that allows a change without increasing costs. We also work to make possible a multipack packaging for yogurts and desserts that allows to maintain the current format using PET foils.
In MP3 we are ready to appraise from our customers proposals for research and development of plastic packaging solutions