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12/1/2009 | 2 MINUTE READ

Industry & Technology News: December 2009

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Caps/Closures Now Made in One StepKortec Inc., Ipswich.

Caps/Closures Now Made in One Step

Kortec Inc., Ipswich. Mass., last month announced a one-step, coinjection process for producing caps and closures, eliminating the step of applying rubber or aluminum seals to the cap after it’s molded. The process is an extension of Kortec’s technology for producing barrier PET and OPP containers. It combines PP and EVOH in a two-layer structure. Kortec says caps made by the one-step process offer better barrier than conventional two-step closures—and lower cost.

For more information visit Kortec's PT Online Showroom.


A Recycling ‘First’ for Food Containers

The Bottle Box is a new clamshell food container made of 100% post-consumer PET beverage bottles. What’s said to be an industry first is that all the steps—from washing to grinding, extrusion, and thermoforming—are performed under one roof. This achievement resulted from a collaboration between Direct Pack Inc., a Sun Valley, Calif., designer and thermoformer of food packaging, and Global PET of Perris, Calif. The effort was supported by a $7-million grant to Global PET from the state of California.

Global PET handles all phases of production. It started in 1994 as a PET recycler serving sheet extruders, but it recently installed its own extrusion and thermoforming equipment. Global PET sources bottles through Plastics Recycling Corp. of California (PRCC) in Sonoma. Under a 10-yr agreement, PRCC will provide Global PET with 60 million lb of recycled PET bottles/yr.

Direct Pack contributes its expertise in package design and distribution. The Bottle Box is said to use 21% less material than comparable containers. Applications include take-out foods, salads, snacks, and deli items not heated beyond 165 F.

In related news, PWP Industries, Vernon, Calif., recently opened an 80,000-sq-ft facility in Davisville, W. Va., where it extrudes and thermoforms post-consumer PET flake into food containers. The flake is supplied mainly by Coca-Cola Recycling LLC of Atlanta. And Earthbound Farm, San Juan Bautista, Calif., recently switched all its fresh-cut salads to thermoformed clamshells of 100% post-consumer PET. Its clamshells are made by Packaging Plus LLC, based in La Mirada, Calif.

Sumitomo Demag Integrates Sepro Robots

Sumitomo (SHI) Demag Plastics Machinery GmbH in Germany signed a global agreement with Sepro of France to integrate Sepro robots with Demag NC5 injection machine controls. Sepro will supply robots to Sumitomo Demag for sale as a complete package. The agreement applies to all Demag models with NC5 controls. Contact Demag Plastic Group Corp., Strongsville, Ohio, or Sepro America LLC, Pittsburgh.
For more information visit Demag Plastic Group Corps.' PT Online Showroom.
For more information visit Sepro America's PT Online Showroom.


Bioplastics from Tobacco

Metabolix, Inc., Cambridge, Mass., has just completed a field trial of growing tobacco that was genetically engineered to produce polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers. The trial was performed on 0.8 acres and yielded tobacco plants containing up to 3% to 5% of PHA. This trial lays the groundwork for future trials of growing PHA in bioengineered, non-food oilseed and biomass crops such as switchgrass and sugarcane.

Metabolix previously developed genetically engineered bacteria that produce PHA inside their cell walls by fermenting cornstarch. This method is used to produce Mirel bioplastic for Telles in Lowell, Mass., a joint venture of Metabolix and Archer Daniels Midland.
For more information visit Metabolix's PT Online Showroom.
(978) 513-1865 • mirelplastics.com