A new 2-Liter SureHandle bottle with an integrated handle was announced during The Packaging Conference this week in Orlando by Pretium Packaging (Chesterfield, MO).
This new technology creates new possibilities for many products—including beverages, foods and household and industrial chemicals—that could benefit from a monolayer container made using standard PET with an ergonomic handle. Unlike typical two-piece handled containers that are made from more than one material, the integrated PET handle/body combination facilitates recycling. The bottle’s handle is injection-molded as part of the preform.
The 2-liter stock bottle follows last summer’s successful launch of a 64oz, 38-400 mm finish SureHandle container (see Pretium commercializes PET container with integrated handle, published August 2017).
Validated by The Packaging School at the Rochester Institute of Technology for use with high-pressure processing (HPP) food and beverage applications, the 2-L SureHandle is three-quarters of an inch taller than its 64oz counterpart (red bottle below in side-by-side view of both). An additional benefit is that the cold processing enables the use of less expensive, linerless plug-seal style closures.
“We have had strong market interest in our SureHandle container and several brand owners are currently evaluating commercialization,” says Barry Sak, Pretium’s marketing manager for the food and specialty market. “However, we also received feedback that a 2-Liter version would also be desirable.”
Brand owners in several food categories—including edible oil and honey—have shown interest in this new size. Olive oil, for example, is typically filled in countries using the metric system. The 2-L size is ideal for honey containers used in foodservice and other institutional environments. Other product applications include cold-pressed juices, ready-to-drink teas, sport drinks, nutritional supplements, dressings, sauces, marinades and more.
Bigger bottles and more in store
Bigger things are ahead for the technology, including a larger size.
“We believe we can extend the platform to a 3-L size,” said Pretium president and ceo Paul Kayser at the conference.
Also possible are structural changes including rib options and other functional design modifications.
Based on Kayser’s comments in Orlando, it looks that the hottest and likely first-to market SureHandle introduction will be in specialty beverages.
The handled bottle also helps pouring control for detergents and industrial chemicals, he added.
One of its most notable benefits is that the SureHandle would allow brands and others to eliminate secondary packaging because boxes are not required; instead the bottles can be stretchwrap-bundled directly in layers up to four high.
How does the handle boost the bottles’ strength? “The handle acts like a flying buttress,” Kayser pointed out.
Currently available in monolayer PET only, Pretium has partnered with several vendors/suppliers who can provide additives such as UV inhibitors and oxygen scavengers to address barrier requirements.
The container is easier to handle for both younger children and older adults, and those with physical challenges, compared to pinch grip or straight-sided alternatives. The handle not only provides carrying advantages, but also improved pouring control, and does not extend beyond the bottle’s footprint. It is been engineered to withstand fill temperatures up to 120°F and can accommodate an induction seal or foam liner.
The container combines preform technology developed by Practically Impossible Labs (Houston) and Pretium’s injection and blow-molding manufacturing expertise. The preform is structurally different than traditional straight-sided, injection molded preforms used to blow mold PET containers in that the handle is part of the preform.
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