Thin PET Bottles and Special Coatings

First Published: April 3, 2024

You might have noticed that the PET bottles your favorite beverage is packaged in seem to be getting thinner and more flimsy these days.

This is in the name of sustainability, reducing the overall amount of PET plastic released into the world, maybe to reduce costs and increase profits.

There is, however, a major downside to reducing the thickness of these PET bottles.

As the walls of the bottle get thinner, their barrier properties are reduced. This allows oxygen pickup and carbon dioxide loss, potentially reducing shelf life.

One way to address this problem is to coat the inside of the bottles with a barrier material, which can prevent the product from interacting with the outside world. These coatings, though, can affect how reliably the bottle can be recycled, so they are not always ideal.

Packaging company KHS has developed a technology that claims to solve these problems while helping increase the products’ shelf life.

KHS’s FreshSafe PET coating, utilizing Plasma Impulse Chemical Vapor Deposition (PICVD) technology, creates a transparent, chemically bonding inner glass coating that is incredibly thin, just 0.1 μm thick. This coating is fully recyclable, meeting the requirements for bottle-to-bottle recycling.

FreshSafe PET is an interesting solution that should improve recycling rates and reduce the environmental impact of PET bottles.

It will be interesting to see how this is adapted in the marketplace and whether brands will start to use this concept as part of their marketing strategy.

Further Reading

An article on this topic at Packaging Europe (a great site for keeping up with important packaging info).

This KHS press release covers the FreshSafe coating process.

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