Sidel has developed what it describes as an “elegant, high performance” mineral water pack which it claims is also the lightest 500ml PET water bottle produced anywhere in the world to date.
Weighing just 9.9g (compared, Sidel says, with a “typical” weight for a 500ml PET container of 13-16g) the “NoBottle” has been developed thanks to a new Sidel technology known as Flex, which eliminates the need to incorporate ribs to brace bottle walls. Bottles injection moulded via the Flex process exploit a combination of plastic’s flexibility and its “shape memory”, the latter being the characteristic that allows packages that are compressed (for instance by the user’s hands) to “spring back to their original shape”.
Franck Hancard, Sidel packaging solutions manager, explains: “Typically, where ribs are added to plastic bottles where weight is reduced the containers are brittle and noisy when the consumer compresses them, which reduces shelf appeal and premium image. Wanting to stop focussing on ways to brace bottles we explored new avenues. After testing various plastics we ultimately developed Flex.”
Without the need for ribs Sidel says designers “are free to create all sorts of shapes, even for extremely lightweight bottles”. The Flex containers are also “easy to grip, supple and substantially less brittle” than conventional bottles and, thanks to shape memory, reportedly better able too to withstand conveying, packing, transport and handling.
Sidel’s decision to focus on the water when developing the new lightweight containers was no accident; according to recent Euromonitor research water is the world’s largest beverage market sector by volume, with 160 billion litres consumed in 2006. The same research claims it is also the highest growth sector – expected to expand by 5.7% annually between now and 2010. The company is now “talking to interested brand owners and packaging producers”.
The NoBottle will be introduced at, and blowmoulded on, the Sidel stand (Hall 13, stand B89) at the K2007 exhibition in Düsseldorf from October 24-31 this year.
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