Though most liquid dairy is packaged in cartons or high-density polyethylene (HDPE), a growing number of producers are turning to aseptic PET bottles, with PET liquid dairy expected to grow by 4.4 per cent in the next two years.
According to Guillaume Rolland, vice president Sensitive Products at Sidel, which supplies PET solutions for liquid packaging, the adoption of PET has spread from Europe to the rest of the world.
“Globally, the use of PET as a packaging material is expected to continuously grow within the liquid dairy sector,” he said. “With 13.7 billion package units today, PET-packaged products are estimated to reach 14.9 billion units worldwide in 2020.”
Rolland points to PET’s 100 per cent recyclability, its barrier properties, and its neck and cap tightness as key reasons for the material’s success.
“Moreover, from transparent to opaque solutions, PET packaging alternatives can ensure top product protection and quality, while delivering the expected shelf life without need for aluminium foil for a more sustainable business,” he said.
PET provides for an affordable raw material, adds Rolland, thanks to abundant supplies. “In the PET market, the offer exceeds the demand and preform suppliers are available worldwide, both aspects contributing to a competitive supply chain,” he said.
He also points to PET’s use as a marketing tool, with a wide variety of potential decorations to help brands stand out from the pack.
“On top of roll-fed labels or sleeve labels, a complete sleeve covering the cap can also be used, as such increasing the communication-facing surface,” he said. “The same bottle shape can be customised with different cap colours and label decorations in order to easily multiply the SKUs with minor changes in the production process.”