Raepak (Wymondham, UK), a global supplier of plastic packaging, has introduced two new 100% recyclable biopolymer bottles that the company claims are direct replacements for standard HDPE and PET fossil-fuel-based plastics. One is a 100% biobottle and the other is a 50% biobottle that includes 50% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content. The bioplastic bottles provide these benefits, according to Raepak:
- Lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced carbon footprint;
- Made from renewable raw materials;
- Derived from sugarcane waste, not from oil;
- No deforestation;
- No atmospheric carbon dioxide is generated;
- Fits back into the recycling chain;
- No difference in performance or color as standard oil-based bottles;
- Same manufacturing processes;
- Can be combined with PCR material.
David Irvine, Raepak’s head of digital & marketing, answers PlasticsToday’s questions.
What interest is there in these sustainable solutions?
Irvine: These biopolymer bottles made from sugarcane offer the same benefits as conventional HDPE or PET polymer bottles. Many companies have made enquiries regarding this new alternative because it lowers their carbon footprint output. The emphasis on climate change is forcing business owners to re-think their packaging.
What applications are most suitable for the bioplastic bottles?
Irvine: Both established brands and new ones can use these bottles for their market audience. Using the biopolymer bottles can help consumers have a choice in helping the environment by reading the label. This helps with having more confidence in a brand and staying loyal to a product that’s helping with a sustainable future.
The biopolymer alternative can be used in all market sectors as they offer the same benefits as HDPE and PET containers. It’s the ethanol being extracted from the sugarcane that provides advantages, as it doesn’t increase atmospheric carbon dioxide and offers a reduced carbon footprint.
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What’s the cost premium vs. conventional containers?
Irvine: Like any new product that comes to market, the cost is unfortunately slightly higher. This can even out slightly if the MOQs are large when compared to small orders. HDPE and PET containers will be cheaper because the raw materials can be purchased at lower cost to the manufacture.
The 50/50 bottle is the cheaper of these two biobottles to produce and businesses find the smaller Minimum Order Quantity orders attractive.
Are these available as stock or custom containers?
Irvine: Raepak won’t store biopolymer containers as a stock item at the moment. If the demand increases over the coming next few years, then it can look to replace popular HDPE and PET containers with biopolymer as standard sizes. Because the biopolymer bottles are made-to-order, any shape or size can be manufactured.
How might customers message the use of biopolymers?
Irvine: Brands adopting the biopolymer change can display the “I’M GREEN” trademark seal on their packaging to let the consumer make a better choice before purchase.
What’s the market status?
Irvine: Raepak offers a free online sample bay