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Salad days ahead for PET

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Plastic packaging giant Amcor has noticed a growing global trend in packaging salad dressings in polyethylene terephthalate (PET) packaging.

The claim follows the company’s announcement that Unilever, in the US, is further adopting its PET packaging for its flagship Hellmann’s mayonnaise 32-ounce line.

Amcor’s PET Packaging and Diversified Products Division has been tasked with the finding potential applications in the food and personal care sectors that could be repackaged using PET, and claims salad dressings is a potentially huge market.

Other large applications that have been identified in these areas for PET include shampoo, toothpaste, surface cleaners and dishwashing liquid.

Amcor spokesperson Ruth Ann Church says: “Amcor PET Packaging has been growing year after year, and this is due to the strong and growing interest in PET packaging from consumer packaging companies around the globe.

“The advantages of PET compared to cans, cartons and glass are its durability, rigidity, recyclability, as well as being unbreakable.”

Until recently, larger packaging formats only have been converted to plastic, because it is more economical in bigger sizes, as the resin weight per-unit volume decreases as the size increases.

Amcor has adapted its blow-and-trim technology – which saves resin, energy and recycling time – for high-volume applications. The blow-and-trim technology is mostly used for wide-mouth jars.

The total consumption of PET bottles for food and beverage applications in western Europe is expected to reach 63,825 million units by 2006, according to a study by Pira International.

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