Resource Efficient Innovations Database (REID)

Light-weight 2 litre PET drinks container

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Light-weight 2 litre PET drinks container
A 2 litre PET drinks container has been repeatedly developed in order to achieve a very light-weight design with excellent consumer and recycling benefits.
In Use – Pecology bottles are used in Japan for Kirin's "Alkali ion Water" drink and Green Tea (available in Japan only). The latest light-weighting achievements were announced in December 2010.

Benefits
Packaging Reduction

Product Categories
Drinks

Relevant Materials
Plastic – rigid

Relevant Packaging Formats
Bottles and jars

Supply Chain Phase
Consumer, Design

Details

The manufacturer of this product has developed an ultra light-weight PET bottle for it's drinks products.  The resulting 2 litre PET drinks bottle is easier to hold, lighter and far easier to crush for recycling. The "pecology bottle" design has also recently won two international awards," with the judges in the Asian Star Contest 2010 for the packaging industry "recognising the superiority of the product's universal design, which combines technology and reduced weight."

The improvements are good for consumers as bottles are increasingly designed to fit comfortably in a person's hand. The new easy-to-grip design also incorporates a series of ribs and ridges that have been created to stop a bottle slipping out of a person's grasp.

The containers, known as Pecology Bottles, were initially developed by Kirin Beverage Co., one of Japan's major drinks manufacturers. in 2003, reducing the weight to 42 grams from the previous version's 63 grams. Now the lightest 2-litre bottle available, Kirin has begun introducing the new generation "pecology bottle"  for its popular "Alkali ion Water" drink, with the new versions weighing just 35 grams when empty, 7 grams less than the previous version. The bottles have now evolved through nine generations

Japan's other drinks companies have followed suit, with both Suntory Beverage and Food Ltd. and Asahi Soft Drinks Co. cutting the plastic in their bottles of mineral water and tea, while Ito En Ltd. has managed to reduce the weight of its 500-milliliter tea bottles to just 19 grams. That saves the company around Y800 million (€7.2 million) a year. In an effort to capture further environmental benefits, Kirin Beverage also makes the bottle caps from a single lighter material, while the bottle labels are also marginally thinner and lighter.

The content in this entry has been obtained from publicly available information sources only (e.g. press releases, website and trade press articles) and is subject to completion of a validation process with the technology supplier.

Potential Benefits

Kirin has identified PET weight savings of more than 800 tons a year. As well as these obvious material savings, there may also be efficiency benefits during handling and distribution.

Intellectual Property

Kirin Holdings has a patent pending on the current generation "pecology" bottle design. PECOLOGY is a registered trademark of Kirin MC Danone Waters

Consultant View

The greatest benefit of this technology is in packaging material reduction which has been achieved through a highly developed pack design.  This is more impressive as the resulting pack has improved consumer handling characteristis.
 
Reviewers are recommended to search the REID database for other related technologies which may be of interest. For example:
  • "Light-weight flexible pack fr liquid foods" - known as the Ecolean Air Package
  • "A 4-sided pouch blow-moulded into a bottle as a light-weight packaging alternative" - developed with Exopack.
  • "A light-weight alternative to large rigid containers" - developed by Smart Bottle

Contacts and Further Information

Company details:
Kirin Beverage Co. Ltd.
1, Kanda-Izumicho
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101
Japan
Tel: 81/3/5821-4001
 
Main Technology Contact:
Norikazu Satou
Supervisor
Technology Development Dept
Production & Logistics Division
Kirin Beverage Company,Limited
norikazu_satou@kirin.co.jp 

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