Hot-fill PET bottles now approach aseptic bottle weights.

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Amcor Rigid Plastics, Ann Arbor, Mich., recently won the nonalcoholic beverage category in the AmeriStar Package Awards Competition, sponsored by the Institute of Packaging Professionals (IoPP). Amcor won the award for developing an ultra-lightweight PET hot-fill bottle for PepsiCo-Lipton’s tea drinks in Central America. The 500-ml bottle weighs only 22 g, 30% lighter than a typical 34 g heat-set bottle of this size. According to Amcor, this sets a new benchmark for heat-set PET containers, enabling manufacturers to achieve package weights similar to those for aseptic filling without the prohibitive capital investment and much greater energy usage for aseptic treatment.

While aseptic containers are filled cold, hot filling has required heavier containers to withstand the internal vacuum that forms after the filled bottle cools. Amcor overcame this challenge with its proprietary vacuum-absorbing base (VAB) technology and ERGO (ergonomic) technology for the bottle body. ERGO technology incorporates functional design that utilizes the vacuum shrinkage to form ridges that provide a handy grip. The Amcor bottle also has a 33 mm finish that uses 50% less material than a standard 38 mm finish.