Technological watch

An innovation combining the benefits of EBM and PET

The production technology EBM (Extrusion Blow Moulding) offers considerable freedom in relation to the design of packaging solutions. There are practically no limits on the potential designs. Bottles with or without a handle, with large or small volumes, oval, round or angular forms with variable neck diameters. This makes EBM a good option for premium products, which are typically looking to stand out from rival products in their design and function. With EBM PET, ALPLA combines these benefits with the benefits of PET. 

Sustainable packaging, transparent and lightPET is a popular material at the present time for many reasons. This is in particular due to its transparency and good recycling capability. Recycled PET is also widely available. The demand for PET packaging therefore continues to grow.

Very strong recycling systems have already been established in many European countries, ensuring high return rates. One such example is the deposit system in place on PET drinks bottles in Germany. Over 90 per cent of post-consumer bottles pass through this step. The material is processed and used for new bottles. The producers need to work on these types of systems, expand them and establish them worldwide. This enables sustainable packaging solutions that are shatterproof, transparent and lightweight. ALPLA is already producing packaging made entirely from recycled PET.

For an efficient circular economyIn the recent past, new special semi-crystalline PET virgin materials were developed for EBM, which, unlike commonly used amorphous copolyesters such as PETG, are compatible with the PET recycling stream. However, ALPLA experts went one step further: the use of regranulate preserves fossil fuels and reduces CO2 emissions significantly and so it was therefore suggested that the PET regranulate be modified so that it is suitable for extrusion blow moulding. This development plays an important role in the implementation of the bottle-to-bottle principle. Plastics used are not disposed of, but are reused and processed into new, fully functional plastic solutions.

Tailored machine platformWith all these special requirements, it is clear that EBM PET calls for tailored production processes. Experts worked on the necessary adaptations to the specially optimised machine platform for almost two years. According to ALPLA, their machine platform itself is now one of the most efficient worldwide. The company can also install them in the form of an in-house solution directly at customers' sites, integrating the production of bottles into the customers' production process to save on transport and packaging. This further reduces the ecological footprint.

With EBM PET, ALPLA offers a comprehensive system solution:

  • PET regranulate for use in EBM technology
  • EBM PET packaging solutions are fully recyclable in an established circular economy
  • Use of 100% PET regranulate possible
  • Tailored production platform, extremely energy efficient and space saving
  • In-house solution possible: production of packaging at the customer's location saves transport and repackaging and reduces CO2 emissions.
About ALPLAALPLA is one of the leading plastic packaging companies. Around 19,300 employees produce tailored packaging systems bottles, fasteners and injection moulding parts at 176 sites in 45 countries. The scope of application of the quality packaging is vast: food and beverages, cosmetics and care products, household detergents, washing and cleaning products, pharmaceuticals, engine oil and lubricants. ALPLA has its own recycling plants: PET Recycling Team with sites in Austria and Poland, and in Mexico as part of a joint venture. 

Publication date: 23/01/2019

Smart Extrusion

This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2020-07-14