Sidel’s (Hünenberg, Switzerland) international center of excellence for PET packaging development and blowing solutions in Octeville, France, recently made an impact on sustainability by participating in an innovative research project involving plant-based performance plastics. The global provider of PET solutions for liquid packaging consulted with its PET packaging expertise in the BioHub program as the chosen representative for the beverage industry.
By contributing to this program, Sidel has enabled the development and production of new chemicals using renewable agriculture materials, such as cereals which are a sustainable substitute for well-known fossil-based chemicals. The new biobased forms of polyester have several likely end-user applications, including packaging in which Sidel was recognized for its PET packaging capability. The program was undertaken by international French biorefining group, Roquette, a global leader in the processing of plant-based raw materials, and subsidized by BPI France, the French agency for industrial innovation.
Luc Desoutter, Sidel’s Special Project Director, said: “Sidel has a longstanding relationship with Roquette and Sidel’s R&D Packaging experts in Octeville in particular contributed with important and innovative PET packaging expertise in this breakthrough project. I am convinced that the innovative materials resulting from the project will soon be adding value to the already substantial benefits that PET offers as a liquid packaging solution, in terms of both performance and sustainability. Satisfying market needs and providing an alternative to established raw materials, they will be of great interest and benefit to the beverage packaging industry and many others.”
Sidel was one of several select private sector and public partners in the BioHub program, which kicked off in 2006.
The company’s sound technological expertise in complete line solutions that starts with the blowmolding process in bottling of beverages, oils and other liquids was a major contribution to the project, as was its perspective as an end user of the potential new biobased performance plastics within the beverage industry.
Vincent Le Guen, Sidel’s Vice President for Packaging, says: “Our understanding of biobased polymers through our participation in this open innovation program brings great value to Sidel’s PET packaging expertise in Octeville. It enables us to continue to stay at the forefront of the liquid packaging industry and to be ready to meet the future needs of beverage producers. The close relationships we have with our partners throughout the PET value chain, and also across other industries, is really valuable to Sidel. This helps ensure we stay in contact with the latest industry developments and continue to improve our packaging solutions for beverage producers.”
The successful conclusion of the BioHub Project—and Sidel's important role within it—can lead to the production of new biobased forms of polyester demonstrating excellent transparency and UV resistance and a good resistance to high temperatures. Leading brand owners within the beverage industry, such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Danone and Nestlé, are eyeing up the possibility of bottles made from fully renewable resources and are said to be already assessing the most promising options to incorporate these next-generation materials into their production lines. For example, Coca-Cola recently unveiled PlantBottle, a PET bottle based on plant materials.