Innovation insight – KHS

More juicy sustainability

Partners KHS and Eckes-Granini are furthering their sustainability goals by launching fully recyclable rPET I litre hohes C Juice bottles. By doing so, the company is now using rPET throughout its extensive product portfolio.

Eckes-Granini is making its packaging portfolio ever more sustainable with the help of the KHS Group. Since earlier this year its one-litre hohes C juice bottle has consisted entirely of recycled plastic (rPET). In fact KHS are Europe’s Bottles & Shapes experts, who were responsible for optimisation of the new recyclable juice bottles. These latest containers will continue to be produced on the company’s tried-and-tested Inno PET FreshSafe block.

“Bearing in mind the EU’s plastic’s strategy and the increase in recyclate quotas that this prescribes, we’ve now decided to switch to using recycled PET only. We want to be a pioneer with regard to the circular economy and set a prime example for the beverage industry as a whole.” said Hermann Naumann, plant manager for Eckes-Granini in Bad Fallingbostel in Lower Saxony. Europe’s leading producer of fruit juice beverages has pursued an ambitious sustainability strategy for many years as Naumann continued, “We aim to continue steadily reducing our carbon footprint in both our production and in our packaging. This means not only cutting down on the amount of material used but also closing the recycling loop.”

Hermann Naumann

Significant savings

With its unique holistic Bottles & Shapes consultancy programme, customers can now benefit from over 40 years of expertise in container design and production. At KHS, beverage producers detail their preferences regarding the weight, shape or stability of the container and upon these specifications, the systems supplier assesses the feasibility of the design with the help of laboratory tests and simulation. In the case of Eckes-Granini the specifications were clear: switch to 100% rPET whilst maintaining the homogeneous quality of the container. According to Eckes-Granini, just the changeover of the one-liter hohes C bottle to rPET will save over 4,000 metric tons of new PET per annum. This in turn means that the bottler will cut its carbon emissions by about 8,000 tons a year.

Improved barrier properties

Eckes-Granini will continue to benefit from FreshSafe PET barrier protection following their conversion to 100% rPET. The company has relied on the environmentally-friendly system from KHS since 2006. The oxygen barrier of chemically pure glass, and a wafer-thin coating on the inside of the PET bottle, not only effectively protects the juice from oxygen pickup, but is also fully recyclable. The coating can be easily washed off any Eckes-Granini bottles during the recycling process. The sustainable packaging alternative therefore permits pure-grade bottle-to-bottle recycling. By combining rPET and future-proof product protection Eckes-Granini and KHS are once again demonstrating their pioneering role for the circular economy.